| Asom Yuba Parishad activists stage a protest in front of Vandana Cinema Hall in Guwahati on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, Sept. 11: The AGP today demanded that the Assam government should make it mandatory for cinemas in the state to screen at least 42 shows of Assamese films in a year.
The president of the AGP’s cultural cell, Toufique Rahman, told reporters here today that the Congress in Assam had failed to adopt an appropriate policy to promote regional cinema during its 13 years in power.
“The state government should force the cinemas to screen a minimum of 42 shows of Assamese film in a year,” the actor, director and producer said.
The AGP’s reaction comes after senior film director Pulak Gogoi announced on Monday that he would not make Assamese films anymore as halls in the state refused to give convenient time to screen his recently released movie, Momtaj.
Gogoi alleged that a cinema in Guwahati even refused to screen his movie.
The AGP’s youth wing, Asom Yuva Parishad, this morning demonstrated in front of the cinema that had refused to screen the movie.
Leaders of the organisation alleged that halls in the state have been consciously avoiding screening Assamese films in order to screen B-grade Hindi films. It said the group would not tolerate this discriminatory attitude of hall owners towards Assamese movies.
Ulfa (Independent) had yesterday said that Gogoi’s “unfortunate” announcement was a reflection of severe aggression faced by the cultural world of Assam from Hindi culture.
The AGP said state governments like Maharashtra and West Bengal have promulgated ordinances to force cinemas to screen regional language films.
The party said the Assam government should follow these governments to bring relief to the Assamese film industry.
“The state government should immediately hold talks with hall owners, distributors and others to make the cinemas screen Assamese films,” Rahman said.
AGP leaders demanded that the state government should build hundred more cinemas across the state. They said if more halls were built, the producers of regional films in the state would become interested in making films.
“There is a deep conspiracy behind allowing third grade Hindi movies and not allowing Assamese movies to be screened in the state. The responsibility of the state government does not end in just offering financial assistance to make one or two movies in a year,” Rahman said.
The AGP said Gogoi’s film Momtaj was a victim of this conspiracy. The party demanded that the state government should clear its stand within a week.