ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Maharashtra's Marathi Multiplex Story

Is the Gesture Simply Tokenistic?

The recent diktat of the Maharashtra state government about showcasing Marathi cinema at multiplexes during prime time has met with both criticism and support. This decision, although necessary, is no more than a tokenistic gesture to preserve regional culture and is governed by the rules of consumerism

On 7 April 2015, Vinod Tawde, Maharashtra’s minister for cultural affairs, announced that the government was in the process of enacting a law that would make it compulsory for all multiplexes across the state to reserve one screen for exhibiting a Marathi film during prime time hours in the evening (6-9 pm). This decision, he declared, was taken keeping in mind the step sisterly treatment meted out to the growing Marathi film industry by multiplex exhibitors.

A day and several responses/reactions/tweets later, the government revised its decision. Tawde, also the head of the Marathi language department, issued a new statement saying that after consultations with both the Marathi film producers as well as the multiplex owners it was decided that Marathi films would be screened between 12 pm-9 pm at multiplexes. A four-member committee, with representations from all interested groups, would determine the actual timing for screening each film keeping in mind the content and the target audience.

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