Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu Minister for Information & Broadcasting said that Indian Cinema not only played a vital role during the freedom movement, it also facilitated in spreading the message regarding the great deeds and valor of eminent leaders and personalities related to freedom movement. Having a profound impact on the minds and social behavior of people, it was necessary for films to have a social message. Shri Naidu stated this here today while inaugurating the week long “Independence Day Film Festival” at Siri Fort Auditorium. Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore, Minister of State for I&B and Shri. Ajay Mittal, Secretary, Ministry of I&B, noted film personalities Shri Chitraarth and Shri A.K. Bir were also present on the occasion.
Speaking further, the Minister said that the 70th year of Independence offered an opportunity to take the country from Swaraj to Suraj under the able leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister. This would enable the country to fight the long standing ills plaguing the society and take the nation to newer heights. He added, that every Indian Citizen was equal and there was no room for anybody to discriminate against any other individual. For the nation to achieve faster progress in all fronts, every section of the society irrespective of caste, creed, religion, region and language should be part of the growth story. All Indians should believe only in oneness of the country and nothing else should be allowed to cause obstacles in India’s march ahead. He urged that civil society and people should strive to foster harmony and build bridges across the communities.
Addressing the audience on the philosophy of Indian Freedom Struggle, Shri Naidu said that many countries fought for their freedom and became independent but the Indian Freedom Movement was unique in the sense that it showed to the world the power of non-violence and democratic principles. He said that people from different walks of life from different parts of the country contributed to the freedom movement including educationists, lawyers, leaders, farmers, artists and ordinary men & women.
Speaking about the rich history of Indian cinema and the context in which the movies were produced, the Minister mentioned that India’s victory in 1965 war had fired the imagination of a young film actor Shri Manoj Kumar in Mumbai which lead to the making of Upkar in 1967.
Remembering the unsung heroes who contributed to freedom movement, the Minister said that, the 1959 Tamil Film “Veerapaandiya Kattabomman” directed by B.R.Panthulu was the story & valor of Kattabomman – an 18th century local leader from Tirunelveli, in Tamil Nadu, who refused to accept the sovereignty of East India Company.
Referring to towering personalities of our freedom movement and founding fathers of the Republic of India, the Minister said that Sardar Vallabhai Patel played a leading role in integration of our country into a united and independent nation. The film “Sardar” which portrays the life of Sardar Patel would be screened at the Film Festival. He further mentioned that the sacrifices made by Veer Savarkar during freedom struggle was unparallel.
The Minister said that the festival provided an opportunity to the school children especially from public schools who attended the festival to be inspired by the history of these great leaders and freedom fighters.
The opening Film for the festival Gandhi directed by Sir Richard Attenborough was screened after the inaugural ceremony. The festival would commence from 12th August to 18th August, 2016 and 20 films will be screened during the period. The festival is being organized by DFF in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence.