Calicutans are always fond of good art and enjoy celebrations. But, absence of a convention center in Kozhikode, to meet the huge demand for mega galas, affects layman adversely. Distribution of entry passes beyond the capacity of seats and hoarding of entry passes by certain business groups also lowered the public spirit of the Kerala State Film Awards distribution event, to a great extent.
One more mega event is over in Kozhikode- the 41st Kerala State Film Awards distribution ceremony and star night. People from different walks of life thronged into the extravaganza, thanks to Calicutans’ passion for arts and culture. More than an enjoyment the evening contributed pathetic chaos among the visitors and travelers alike.
“The need of a spacious convention centre in the city, run by the local administration is the solution to manage any major events professionally and peacefully”-says a noted cultural activist.
Traffic congestion was due to VIP visits as expected, coupled with the flow of film fans. The admirer’s mounting attempt to get an entry or catch a glimpse of their favorite heroes, by gathering outside the venue also caused disturbance to the public.
The Corporation stadium has been witnessing many major public events recently.
On November 11th, Vice President Hamid Ansari had attended Snehasangamam, a grand event, organized by the district administration. It was a well-planned event with wide participation at no hurdles for the attendees. There was no control of entry with pass for that event.
The film award night, instead witnessed hundreds of entry seekers without pass waiting to try their luck for an accidental entry.
Entry passes said to be issued by some corporate sponsors were sold in black market. Some individuals were seen selling entry passes at a cost of Rupees 200 and more. When approached to know the origin of bulk passes; a seller said: “We got this from a jeweler group.” (He named one of the famous jeweler groups in Kerala)
However, many of those who possessed the passes also failed to gain entry.
Many young children stood near the main gate, unable to get a space inside.
The calculations of the organizers proved wrong while many could not enter the venue.
Simultaneously, occurrence of a mega event with film stars, affected free mobility of regular commuters in the city. Nearby roads do not have enough capacity to handle such huge volume of traffic, that too during peak hours.
‘At least the authorities should have cleaned the filthy drainages and footpaths ahead of such events,’-said Vivek Krishna; a Fine Arts student.
Although many entrances were aligned for the program, the main gate and car pass gates were always seen crowded. Some of the gates crashed by the push and pull of the enthusiastic mob.
The police had a hard time returning aspirants without entry passes. They also had a tough task controlling the fans who thronged in hundreds to witness the film award night.
But yesterday’s ceremony marked a mixed mood in the minds of art lovers. A group of protestors who stood nearby the venue gate caught visitor’s attention.
“Who participated and who kept away from the event is not the issue. But the silent protest from certain group’s; even though it was small in number put a question mark”-says one of the social activists in the city who supported the protestors.
Janakshema Samithy activists stood in silence with placards in their hands, seeking the attention of Kerala’s alarming issue in recent times; Mullaperiyar.
Their question was whether such a great celebration was an inevitable necessity when we badly wanted an apt solution to Mullaperiyar issue. “It is the first of its kind in Kozhikode”-said K.P Ravi, one of the members of the team.
“While the whole state is discussing the serious concern of the people living downstream of the dam, how could our State Government host and celebrate a film award night using all the administrative machinery?”-that was the question raised by the protestors.
Famous Malayalam director Ranjith also abstained from attending the event, saying that he could not join an award ceremony without finding solution to a burning issue that affects the population in four districts.
Certain pro-left leaders also kept way from the colorful festivity.