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'S Durga' director's open letter to PM Modi, decides not send film for National Awards

Press Trust of India  |  Thiruvananthapuram 

has written an open letter to Narendra Modi, saying he has decided not to submit his film "S Durga" for the as he believes "a judicious decision" will not be taken regarding the movie.

Sanal's decision comes after the film was unceremoniously dropped from the Indian Panorama section of International Film Festival of (IFFI) last year.

"... This film ('S Durga') could have been made a strong mark in the coming and be a contender for the awards. But, most painfully and with much resentment, I had to take a decision not to send my film to the

"You (PM) may not know the circumstances that led to my decision. I don't even know whether you will get to read this letter. But, I am writing this only in the belief that it is my duty as a citizen who loves the democratic set up and plurality of existence in this country to proclaim this aloud.

The filmmaker said he has decided to not send the film for National Awards "in the light of personal experiences, that a judicious decision will not be taken in the case of my film."

"S Durga" received the Tiger Ward for Best Film in and has won three other Best Film awards in Geneva, and

Sanal added that "instead of protecting the artistes and thinkers who advance different notions and discussion points, the Government under you always go to court with arguments supporting the outcries from mobs."

"Is this the great Indian civilisation that you and your political party uphold? In a country like ours where all kinds of civilisations, ideas and religious beliefs that co-exist, unlike in no other country, do you think any independent thought can exist with unanimous consent?" he said.

Sanal said he is aware that National Film Awards will not suffer any loss due to him not submitting his film for it, but through this letter he wanted to draw the prime minister's attention towards "the alarming situation that exists in this country".

"... I believe that if the very institutions that are meant to protect independent expressions of thoughts and freedom of opinion take a stand favourable to mob mentality, it is an extremely dangerous and serious situation. My non-submission may be a great relief to the Ministry. I don't have the time to spend on court cases and skirmishes with the State. But, I am bringing all this to your kind attention only so that I should not be blamed for not telling you about the alarming situation that exists in this country," he said.

"S Durga" is already out in theatres and post the nationwide release on April 6 the said he is curious to know the reason behind the "atrocities" against his film from "your Government".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 07 2018. 15:00 IST