No scope for promotion of cinema in Big B's home state
Film promotional activities in Uttar Pradesh, the most populated state of the country and the native place of legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, have ground to a halt, thanks to the negligent attitude of the Samajwadi Party-led government.
On paper, the state has the UP Film Development Board, which has the task of promoting cinema in the state. The board is chaired by a person with a background in cinema, who then constitutes his own team of professionals including directors, script writers and producers and the members work together to screen the film proposals sent to it for approval. Once a film is cleared, subsidy or interest-free loan is sanctioned to the producer for the production of the film in the state.
But the ground reality has been far from this, with the board remaining headless for nearly one-and-a-half years since Akhilesh Yadav became Chief Minister. The CM, despite having named more than 100 chairpersons, heads and advisors for various public sector undertakings and boards, is yet to name anyone as chairman of the UP Film Development Board, thereby leaving the nodal agency for cinema in dire straits.
“Despite repeated reminders, the government has not taken any action in this regard,” lamented a deputy director in the UP Tourism Corporation which is also part of the film promotion activities. “In fact, film promotion activities have been on a standstill for nearly six years, when the BSP was in power and now when the SP is leading the government,” he said.
The government had posted Yashwant Nikose as the chairman of the board, but he failed to revive the organisation. Before the BSP government, the Mulayam Singh-led government had named Jaya Bachchan as chairperson and some film promotion activities had taken place at the time and some regional films got approval for subsidy and so on. “Also, at that time Amar Singh was very active in the Samajwadi Party and his Bollywood connections attracted film stars to UP. But now, things have changed drastically and this has adversely affected film promotion activities and thereby the tourism sector of the state too. It is very sad that despite giving India its biggest superstar in Amitabh Bachchan, his home state has no say in the world of cinema,” said the officer.