Nath blooper on film history

After Biplab Deb, it is Tripura education minister Ratan Lal Nath's turn at bloopers.

By Debraj Deb in Agartala
  • Published 18.07.18
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Ratan Lal Nath

Agartala: After Biplab Deb, it is Tripura education minister Ratan Lal Nath's turn at bloopers.

Nath inaugurated a children's film festival at Nazrul Kalakshetra here on Tuesday morning and said films are the best medium to educate and encourage children.

He also said his government would extend support to organise children's film festivals at the village level.

However, the minister committed a gross mistake while recounting the history of Indian cinema. He said Raja Harishchandra, the first full-length silent film of India was made by Dadasaheb Phalke on May 3, 1993. The film was actually made 80 years earlier, in 1913.

Speaking on the power of films in shaping society, education minister Nath said, "India produces the highest number of films annually in the world. At least 1,600-1,800 films are produced every year in different languages in the country. It is a medium which has got entertainment as well as educational value in it."

However, he said films for children are not being produced "that much" as filmmakers have to make profit from their films.

"Cinemas are being produced every year. But there are very few films made for children. Producers want to make profits out of their films. But there were some filmmakers like Satyajit Ray who understood sentiments of children. He made films which are remembered till today," the minister said.

He recounted films of masters like Bari Theke Paliye by Ritwik Ghatak, Safed Haathi by Tapan Sinha, I am Kalam by Nila Madhab Panda and contemporary films like Bengali film Ranu, Assamese film Ishu and said such films are very important for holistic growth of children.

Speaking on the history of Indian cinema, the minister said, "Indian cinema has a history of over 100 years. As far as I know, the first Indian film, Shree Pundalik, was made by Dadasaheb Torne in Marathi. It was released in 1992."

In reality, Marathi filmmaker Ramchandra Gopal Torne aka Dadasaheb Torne is credited with making the first film of the country, Shree Pundalik, which was released on May 18, 1912, nearly a year before Dadasaheb Phalke released Raja Harishchandra.

Nath today also made another faux pas saying Dadasaheb Phalke began the history of Indian filmmaking by making Raja Harishchandra -first full-length silent film of the country - on May 3, 1993.

"Dadasaheb Phalke made Raja Harishchandra on May 3, 1993. It was the first full-length silent film ever made in India. Times have changed; earlier there were silent films, then came talkies. Now you have film theatres with surround sound," Nath said.