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Nothing to write home about

JAYA Bachchan has left the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council for a smoother stint (impending) in Rajya Sabha. But the UPFDC she headed till now is back to the square one, having achieved virtually nothing worth its salt during the cine actress? tenure as its chairperson.

india Updated: May 26, 2006 01:33 IST

JAYA Bachchan has left the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Council for a smoother stint (impending) in Rajya Sabha. But the UPFDC she headed till now is back to the square one, having achieved virtually nothing worth its salt during the cine actress’ tenure as its chairperson.

If her tenure as UPFDC chairperson were to be evaluated, Jaya has no long list of achievements to show. If Jaya’s own words are taken to be true, the only achievements Jaya may like to list are saving a large amount of government funds and bringing in professionalism in the functioning of the UPFDC.

So what did UPFDC do during what is being called Jaya Bachchan’s lackluster tenure as its chairperson?

Besides holding two major workshops on scriptwriting, Jaya with some efforts succeeded in getting the State Government’s nod to set up a film archive at NOIDA. As the script committee did not find any script worth making a film (barring one or two), the funds that the State Government had earmarked to provide subsidy remained unused at the end.

As the post of the UPFDC chairperson has not been exempted from the list of ‘office of profit’, the State Government is unlikely to appoint Jaya on the post again. Who will be her successor is the obvious question being asked. Anybody aware of the style of functioning of the CM feels the Government may ultimately appoint only a Jaya nominee on the post to ensure that her work (whatever she has done) is taken ahead.

Recounting his days of working with Jaya Bachchan, a senior officer said the UPFDC had been giving subsidy of Rs 10 lakh (regional films) and Rs 20 lakh (for Hindi feature film) to films made in the state. Only a few of them were able to make a mark while others either failed to reach the cinema halls or simply failed to click with the audience, he said.

He quoted noted film director Muzaffar Ali as saying, “The scripts are not worth the paper they are written on.” So when Jaya took over as chairperson she directed that the ‘script committee’ be reconstituted. Thus the scriptwriters of fame were brought in as the members of the committee, he said.

Besides this, Jaya also took frequent rounds to the film city in NOIDA. And when she came to know that a marriage hall was functioning in the film studio, she asked the NOIDA officials to ensure its closure.

Jaya also made sincere efforts to set up a ‘film archive’ at NOIDA.

The State Government has already sanctioned the project and a sum of Rs 7 crore has been provided to NOIDA for the purpose.

7 This would be the second film archive in the country after the National Film Archives based at Pune, he said.

First Published: May 26, 2006 01:33 IST