On Saturday, 19 January, prime minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first National Museum for Indian Cinema on Peddar Road, Mumbai. Housed in two five-storey buildings, including the 100-year-old Gulshan Mahal, the museum houses artefacts, projectors, cameras, photoreels related to Indian cinema.
Opening his speech in style with a mention of Vicky Kaushal’s latest hit, Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019), the prime minister said, “How’s the josh?”.
Praising cinema as a ‘silent power,’ the prime minister said that it could shape people’s hopes and aspirations.
“Films and society are a reflection of each other. What you see in films is happening in society and what is happening in society is seen in films. This shows India is changing. Earlier, poverty was considered a virtue… Films were about poverty, helplessness. Now, along with problems, solutions are also being seen. If there are a million problems, there are a billion solutions,” he said.
JAI HIND ! my dads fan moment !my dad is a big fan of the honorable PRIME MINISTER n today he met him ….???????????????????????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/2f8Hmzo7oL
— Ekta Kapoor (@ektaravikapoor) January 19, 2019
The prime minister also touched on issues close to the industry like piracy and a ‘one window clearance’ for film permissions. “A single-window system for obtaining permissions for film shoots and related matters are on the anvil.”
The last few weeks saw several industry insiders like Karan Johar, Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Alia Bhatt, Prasoon Joshi, among others meet up with the prime minister to discuss a reduction in the Goods and Sales Tax (GST) of tickets.
With the PM of our beloved country and the President of my house. What a beautiful function today – the inauguration of India’s 1st museum of cinema spanning 100 years of Indian film making pic.twitter.com/UpQ1UIj8J0
— ashabhosle (@ashabhosle) January 19, 2019
The event also saw veteran actor Manoj Kumar join the rest of the industry as they threw open the museum for visitors.