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Over 50 National award winners who skipped ceremony still awaiting citations

A month after the award ceremony, several filmmakers and artistes who chose to walk out of the ceremony are yet to receive their medals and citations from the government. 

Nominees and winners for 65th National awards 2018

Our Correspondent

In May this year, the National award ceremony ran into a serious controversy after over 50 filmmakers chose to walk-out and not attend the ceremony to receive their prizes. Several winners were miffed at the decision by the government of India to change a 65-year old tradition of the president awarding all the winners.

It was revealed at the rehearsals that the president, Ramnath Kovind, would only give away 11 awards, with the former minister of information and broadcasting, Smriti Irani, and former minister of state for information and broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Rathore, presenting the rest. The decision evoked a walk-out by several award winners including actor Fahadh Faasil, director Praveen Morchhale, and actress Parvathy.

Now, Mumbai Mirror, a tabloid, reports that the winners are still awaiting their medals and certificates. 

The report quoted Walking With The Wind (2017) director, Praveen Morchhale, saying, "We did not ‘boycott’ the ceremony nor did we disrespect anyone — we simply skipped it. We would have been happy if the I&B minister would have presented all the awards instead of a select few being chosen to receive them from the president." 

The decision to divide the award distribution between the president and the information and broadcasting ministry was strongly opposed by the director. Back in May, Morchhale had said, "The decision to divide the award distribution between the president of India and the Information and broadcasting ministry had received a lot of criticism." 

While the winners have received their cash prizes, they have not yet received the award and citations. The certificate and awards are usually sent over to the winners, in case of their absence, within a month. Morchhale was also quoted saying that on inquiry, official sources revealed that they were still contemplating if the medals ought to be couriered to the winners or to the regional office from where they can be collected. 

Meanwhile, the report quoted an I&B official saying, "They have already received their award money and will get their citations and medals in due course. These things follow the procedure which takes time. The government is not holding back anything, they will get it all shortly."

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National Awards