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Shocking Disclosures About The National Awards: Bachchan was favoured over Irrfan...

A blog by a jury member of the 63rd National Film Awards has made revelations of the startling kind. The jury member, from the Southern panel of the awards, has chosen to remain anonymous.

That he’s blown the lid off the final selection of the National Awards, however, is quite a shocker, especially on four key points. Read on, and control your horrified responses if you can.

Chairman’s Power and Prejudice

It’s common knowledge that the chairman of the National Awards’ central panel is the Big Boss. Two years ago, one of the jury members had quit because he believed that the jury’s chairman, Saeed Akhtar Mirza, was conducting the procedure like an autocratic schoolteacher. This year the blogger has alleged that the chairman, the Sholay director Ramesh Sippy, was high-handed, and there were clear cases of prejudice.

Amitabh Bachchan Versus Irrfan Khan in Piku

According to the whistle-blower,  Amitabh’s name wasn’t in the running at all for Piku. Irrfan’s name was on top of the list for the Best Actor Award for the same film.

It has been claimed that Sippy and some of the ‘top panel members’ (meaning that they have high profiles and belong to the Bollywood enclave) suddenly brought up Bachchan’s name. The logic was that Irrfan Khan was not the hero of the film. Others argued that neither was Amitabh, but that counter-argument that was cavalierly bypassed.

That Spectre Of Politics

Dibakar Bannerjee had returned his National Award for his debut film Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006), along with other filmmakers to show solidarity with the striking students of the Film and Television Institute of India. Hence, awards which most of the members had recommended for his films, were ignored.

Because Dibakar had dared to go against the system, his film Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! lost out on the Best Set Design Award. Politics also played a part in the case of Titli, which he co-produced. It was way ahead in the running for the Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Ranvir Shorey) and Best Special Jury Awards. Absolutely no go.

Zip Your Mouth Or Else…

A Special Jury Award for the still-to-be-released Nil Battey Sannata was a sureshot for Swara Bhaskar. But she had spoken out in defence of JNU student Umar Khalid, who has been charged with sedition. Result: Swara was sidetracked.

Now, that’s one helluva blog. Will chairman Ramesh Sippy stand up and give his side of the story? Or will silence prevail? 

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