At least two people, including Bollywood filmmaker Tigmanshu Dhulia, have said no to their nomination to the Uttarakhand Film Development Council since the government announced its constitution on Friday.
The Congress-led government had introduced the state’s Film Policy 2015 with much hype last year, but failed to constitute the council for over a year. HT had highlighted in its July 31 edition how the Film Policy was not being enforced effectively in the absence of the film development council.
The government had declared the nomination of Dhulia and actor Hemant Pandey – both hail from Uttarakhand – as the vice chairpersons of the council with a three-year-tenure.
In a letter on Saturday evening, Dhulia thanked the government for the honour conferred upon him, but requested it to withdraw his appointment “in the interest of propriety and ethics”.
“Considering the sensitive situation currently prevailing in the state and misconstrued implications coming from this appointment, I feel a certain discomfort in accepting this position,” he said, but assured he would continue to “promote my state of Uttarakhand in the future irrespective of any position.”
The Paan Singh Tomar filmmaker was earlier declared the cultural brand ambassador of the hill state by the Congress-led state government in 2013.
A section of observers had questioned the nomination of Dhulia, who had early this year hinted at his desire to join politics, and whose brother is a judge at the Uttarakhand high court.
Besides Dhulia, regional filmmaker Manish Verma, who has directed Garhwali films like ‘Anjwaal’ and produced ‘Hello UK’ on the political crisis faced by the hill state earlier this year, also resigned from his post as a member citing “seniority issue”.
Verma, who was accorded the status of a minister of state in the Congress’ ND Tiwari government, said: “It would be below the dignity of the post if I work as a member (under the vice-chairmanship of) Dhulia and Pandey who are junior to me.” He also recommended another name to the government to be nominated in his place.
Surendra Kumar, media in-charge for chief minister Harish Rawat, said the government may now look for other names for the posts.
“We, however, feel sorry that some people are trying to drag Tigmanshu ji in a controversy. He is the pride of Uttarakhand and his contribution (to the field of cinema) has been on an international level. It (the nomination) was simply a way to recognise his talent,” Kumar said.
To be headed by chief minister Harish Rawat, the council will take decisions on film development in the hill state, including providing financial assistance to regional filmmakers, reviving cinema halls and developing film shooting locations among others.