The jury of the National Film Awards in India this year decided to disqualify a beautiful film, Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare (which translates to ‘On the other bank of a river unseen’), as "not Assamese", even though the film had already been certified as Assamese by the official censorship authority in India. The jury, without authority, decided to make this unfair and arbitrary assessment about the language of the film and removed it from consideration for the awards.
This decision is an outrage to all people who value fairness and believe in the sanctity of the process for the prestigious National Film Awards. It is not for the jury to question the language of the film, that has already been established by competent authority, but it is their solemn duty to fairly judge the merits of the film for awards. The jury failed to perform this duty they were entrusted with. The poor reasoning to arrive at this decision is also a slap on the face of Assamese people and the Assamese language, in its role as one of the official regional languages of India.
This unfair decision needs to be rejected and the film needs to be judged again as an Assamese film for the awards based on its merits. This petition is to make that request of Honourable Ms. Ambika Soni, the Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India.
Please review the petition letter, which has much more detail about the issue, and sign it by April 15, 2012 to show your support. Please inform your friends as well through email, facebook, and twitter, using the links for the same on this page.
Wahid Saleh and Satyajit Nath
For a Fair National Film Awards Jury