Ajay Devgn’s list of award nominations may be long, but he has received only five awards in his career of over two decades. And that, says the 43-year-old actor, is because award functions ‘are a sham’ and the winners’ names are changed at the last moment, depending on which actor has come to attend the ceremony.
“I don’t believe in film awards. I have always made it a point to never take those awards,” said Degvn, whose last trophy was a National Award for the Best Actor, which he won in 2003 for The Legend of Bhagat Singh. “They (the organisers of private awards) need maximum number of stars to attend their ceremony, so they call you up and tell you that if you attend their event, they will give you an award. So what is the point of getting an award only if you will attend the show? And if you are unable to make it at the last minute … the chit with the name of the winner changes and another actor gets the trophy. I have lost faith in such ceremonies,” he says.Many in the industry agree that award functions have become mere promotional events. "Jo unka event attend karega, jo dance karega… usko trophy mil jayegi… this is their logic. 10-12 type ke award shows hai, usme bhi best actor trophy ki sub categories hai … popular choice, critic choice etc. They all are fake," says filmmaker Anil Sharma.
Atul Agnihotri, who produced last year’s blockbuster hit Bodyguard says, “Unfortunately, award functions have become like one big TV production, so they design them depending on the availability of stars. Box office reward is the only true award.” Filmmaker Ramesh Taurani however, feels that there are some shows which are indeed authentic. “Audience reaction is of utmost importance and awards are like a bonus. Not all awards are rigged … there are some that are credible.” While most award organisers chose not to comment, one organiser on condition of anonymity said, “It is unfair to generalise. Our process is transparent as we decide our winners on the basis of online voting.”
They, too, never attend award shows
Abhay Deol: “I don’t attend award functions as they are all a sham. They are all made up.”
Aamir Khan: “I don’t see any value in any of these award ceremonies I see around me nowadays.”
Emraan Hashmi: “See any award ceremony, they are just out to please everyone.”
Suneil Shetty: “Awards are given out to please. I am not part of any award jury or a channel owner.”