Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday defended his government's decision to make it mandatory for multiplexes to screen a Marathi film during prime-time slot and dared those opposing it to take a similar stand in other states.
"Tamil films get primacy in Tamil Nadu and Telugu film in Andhra Pradesh. In states like West Bengal, nobody dares to say anything against the local films. Then why this injustice to Marathi films? Why are people raising voice against the Marathi culture?" Fadnavis said, speaking to PTI.
Marathi films had excelled in all genres and the local producers had made some really good films in the past, he said.
"If the state government wants local language films to get primacy, what is the harm? To all those who are opposing the move, I want to ask can they show the same courage in some of the other states?
"These people know that Maharashtra is a democratic state. They know even if they shout against us we will not respond. They may keep voicing their opinion democratically but we are committed to give primacy to Marathi films and theatre," Fadnavis said.
The BJP-led government earlier this month came out with a directive that multiplexes must screen at least one Marathi film in the evening's prime-time slot. The directive became controversial.
Later, after discussions with the multiplex owners, the government decided to redefine the prime-time as between 12 pm to 9 pm, which the ruling ally Shiv Sena criticised as watering down of the original directive.