The unveiling of the 69th National Film Awards last Thursday has sparked considerable turmoil, with contentious issues arising in the aftermath of the awards’ declaration. Notably, a barrage of criticism has been directed at the jury’s perceived oversight of what are deemed the most exceptional films, particularly from the Tamil cinema industry. Social media platforms have erupted with fervent outrage from Tamil film enthusiasts, expressing their discontentment over the award choices.The year 2021 witnessed a vibrant discussion on social media platforms, shedding light on the notable absence of recognition for several noteworthy Tamil films that have garnered immense audience admiration. Most notably, the films ‘Jai Bheem’ and ‘Karnan’ have faced complete dismissal from the jury’s selections, evoking a widespread outcry.
Joining the chorus of dissent, actor Prakash Raj has stepped forward to denounce the lack of recognition for ‘Jai Bheem’. Raj’s perspective draws a compelling parallel between Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution, and Gandhi’s assassin. Raj questions the rationale behind awarding a film like ‘Jai Bheem’ to those who ostensibly aim to undermine Ambedkar’s principles. His sentiments were conveyed through an ‘X post’ wherein he shared content related to the movie ‘Jai Bheem’ and a translated Marathi poem titled ‘Jai Bheem’.Adding to the discourse, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin voiced his dissent against the National Film Award announcement. Expressing surprise over ‘The Kashmir Files’ winning the Best National Integration Film category, Stalin urged against using prestigious awards for minor political gains. He also commended the absence of political bias in film and literature accolades.
— Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) August 26, 2023
Simultaneously, the exclusion of films like ‘Jai Bheem’, ‘Sarpatta Sararai’, and ‘Karnan’ from the National Awards has triggered a heated debate within the Tamil audience. Lijo Mol’s performance, in particular, has been a focal point of contention, sparking discussions around her deserving recognition.