Has Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) gone defunct?

That’s how it appears on the face of it particularly with regard to its functions that are related to the film and TV industry of India. We don’t actually know what’s happening in New Delhi. There has not even been a serious attempt on the part of the new Minister of Information & Broadcasting Shri Prakash Javdekar to formally interact with the members of the film and TV fraternity. He has not even deemed it fit to hold a press conference during his visits to Mumbai.
Various organizations under the aegis of MIB remain headless today. Two key institutions, the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) and the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) have gone headless for quite some time now. The Films Division (FD) is groping in the dark as well. Nobody actually knows what’s going on in MIB’s film and TV related sections.
It’s quite possible that Shri Javdekar prefers to keep himself out of the limelight. That’s a good thing. One can achieve a lot by working silently. However, one needs to interact with various stakeholders in the film and TV industry to know how it can be turned into a potent tool of economic growth and what policy initiatives will give it the required push to make it contribute to the GDP of India by realizing its full potential. Shri Javdekar could have at least called various industry associations and Bollywood press for an interaction. That has not happened.
It seems that the film & TV industry is not in the priority list of Modi Sarkar 2. In fact even in Modi Sarkar 1 it was not a priority area either though the Make in India presentations did mention of it. It’s another matter that the glowing data given in those presentations were, to put it mildly, fine examples of conjuring tricks multinational creative accounting firms are known to perform to the benefit of their clients.
Now, if Modi Ji and his learned minster think that the film and TV industry is all about super stars and celebrities and fun, frolic, glamour and blockbuster extravaganzas, that’s not actually the whole truth. They need to be aware that all that glitters is not actually gold but a lot of sweat and hard work. A good leader of people must help citizens of his country realize their full potential. In order to make that happen he has to fruitfully and meaningfully engage with them.
Unfortunately his engagement with the film and TV industry is limited to photo ops with a few stars and celebrities. Even MIB bureaucrats don’t seem to go beyond the clutter of glitter to develop a comprehensive understanding of the working of the film and TV industry and the challenges faced by it. Their scant domain knowledge comes from cooked up data published in annual reports brought out by a Delhi based lobbying organization.
Will it shock and surprise the Prime Minister that MIB has not even cared to conduct a research and study of its own over the decades of its existence to know the exact status of India’s film and TV industry? Does he know that there exists no credible reporting structure in this industry to generate authentic data and information about its functioning even after it was accorded the status of an industry more than 15 years ago?
We were the only film and TV trade publication who openly endorsed Shri Narendra Modi in 2014 and 2019 and supported him to the hilt. We have faith in our beloved PM. We hope that in his second term the film and TV industry will be treated as a priority sector and will get the attention it deserves.

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