Mumbai: Some of the Bollywood denizens were displeased by the almost total exclusion of B-town from the National Awards. J. P. Dutta said “Why are we looking at Indian cinema as Bollywood and regional cinema? There’s just one cinema in the country, Indian cinema. It’s a shame that a lot of filmmakers in Mumbai equate Bollywood with Indian cinema. They need to open their eyes and look around,” he contended.
Dutta lashed out at movies and film producers who appear to miss the point of the ‘real’ India. Dutta wanted to add “I think it’s time to stop looking down on films that are set in the so-called cow-belt. It’s a healthy sign that films like Dabangg are taking our cinema back to the Indian heartland. I’ve always shot my films in the most beautiful places in India, whether it is Rajasthan or Ladakh or Leh. It’s time for our cinema to stop its obsession with the West.”
He went on and stated that “The television channels were only harping on the Hindi films. What about the winners in other languages? They don’t matter because they aren’t in Hindi? I don’t think the spoken language should be given so much importance in our films.”
Eyebrows have been raised, in particular over the collection of Dabangg for wholesome entertainment. Defending the choice made by the jury, Dutta said, “I think Dabangg is the perfect wholesome entertainer. It propagates family values. It shows the alcoholic father sacrificing his life when he feels he’s coming in the way of his daughter’s life. And it shows step-brothers uniting as one force to protect the family.”
He wanted to insist that B-town should not be the centre of Indian cinema “It was a pleasure to see cinema from all over the country making such an impact. It’s about time we stopped looking at Bollywood as the fulcrum of Indian cinema. There’s so much quality work happening all over the country. This year’s National Awards are proof of it.”