Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai. The museum seeks to showcase the glorious history of Indian cinema over its over 100-year journey. From the well-known film celebrities to the dignitaries, the event was a star-studded affair, but the highlight was the PM’s inspiring speech.
During his address, PM Modi said, “Cinema is touching new heights and it should continue in a similar way.” He said that the talk about the museum has been going on for a long time, but his predecessors presented him the opportunity to inaugurate it.
PM also asked the audiences ‘How’s the josh?’ the war cry from recent hit ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ and it was met with ‘High, Sir.’
About NMIC, he revealed that the centre would provide detailed information about the celebrities, films and other major aspects of the film industry. PM said that 30 hours of footage of the Army during the World War 2 can be watched at the museum and thanked the efforts taken for digitisation.
He praised Manoj Kumar, seated in the audience, and acknowledged his movies post freedom, and how his movies were followed by the emergence of the ‘Angry Young Man’.
The Prime Minister also spoke about how the trend of aspiring film personalities coming from big cities have changed and people from tier 2, tier 3 cities are coming ahead and contributing to the industry.
PM acknowledged how the more time a film would take to make, 8-10 years in those days, the more it would be considered relevant, but how the shooting is completed in only a few months nowadays.
“Today if the youth is a fan of Batman, he is also a fan of Baahubali,” PM Modi said.
He expressed pride about Raj Kapoor’s films fans being loved immensely not just in India, but around the world.
The Prime Minister shared an anecdote of Israel PM singing the full song ‘Ichak Dana Bichak Dana’ to him, though neither of the two knew the meaning of it. “That’s the power of our films,” he stated.
The PM narrated how children in South Korea performed to the song ‘Hathi Mere Saathi’ during his visit. He revealed he got it dubbed into the Korean language and sent it back to the school. PM Modi also stated that Vietnam PM said the reason why his wife refused to come for the Republic Day event because she keeps watching ‘Ramayan’ serial for hours.
He also spoke about the unique identity of the Television industry and how ‘Kyuki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ was a serial that everyone used to watch many years ago.
PM Modi also stated that it was important to bring an integration between films and theatre to give the latter a ‘new strength.’
The PM praised the industry for making films on issues like toilets, dreaded diseases, armed forces and stated that if made with good vision, it can be a success at the box office, but most importantly, play a part in nation building and uniting the country. The Prime Minister credited the industry in boosting tourism, stating how places are known on the basis of the film that was shot at the location.
PM Modi stated how the members of the film industry expressed their difficulty in obtaining permissions for various aspects related to movies and promised that the government is planning to create a ‘single window clearance’ to make the process easier for them.
He also stated he brought to the GST council’s notice the film industry’s concerns on the GST rate on movie tickets, following which the rate has been cut.
PM Modi also addressed the issue of piracy, calling it an ‘insult to your hard work.’ He promised to bring changes to the 1952 Cinematograph Act to help the industry.
Like his famous ‘Make in India’ slogan, he spoke about ‘Design in India’ for which a centre of animation is also in the works.
PM expressed his interest to see a university for Communication and Entertainment where technology and creativity could be put to good use and promising that the government would back it.
The Prime Minister also expressed his urge to see an event of international standards like World Economic Forum, Davos for the world to understand the power of the Indian film industry.
Giving the example of Jeetendra, seated in the audience, how we loved to see his glamour on screen, PM added that there was a lot that went behind it. He urged the celebrities to convey to fans through the medium of social media, the dedication, hard work and resilience that’s behind the glamour that the industry is generally associated most for.
The Prime Minister expressed an urge to see movies based on science and the environment. PM Modi acknowledged the sacrifices given by the Adivasis for the country particularly during the 1857 freedom movement and spoke about a museum to honour their contribution. He was confident that such movies had the power to transform even someone who wants to harm the country in any way.
The Prime Minister shared how the government had unearthed unsung heroes of the country, and have given them the prestigious Padma Shri, presenting the example of Dashrath Majhi on whom ‘Manjhi- The Mountain Man’ was based on.
PM Modi concluded by expressing his gratitude for being given the opportunity to praise an industry that has contributed to the nation for more than 100 years. The PM called the success of the industry a ‘result of 100 years’ and that the ‘world should know’ about its achievements.
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