IMPHAL, Sept 4 - Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has appealed for a �rethink� on banning of Hindi films in the State.
The Chief Minister made the appeal while re-opening the Usha Cinema hall, one of the oldest cinema halls in the State capital here on Thursday.
Stating that despite the ban people continue to watch Hindi movies at their respective places, Ibobi expressed the need to bring a better solution in the interest of the public.
�I always try to avoid the questions (by guests) over the closing down of Cinema halls (in a place) where our forefathers preserved our culture since time immemorial,� he said. �So we need to develop our culture through films, and various fronts such as newly-established Manipur University of Culture and Manipur State Film & Television Institute�, he added.
Terming the framing of the State Film Policy which is currently in the pipeline, as a good news, he observed that Manipuri films will continue to play a vital role in reforming the society as in the past.
He stressed the need to strengthen and expose the rich cultural heritage of Manipur to the world through south Indian way of screening of Manipuri films with English subtitles.
Director of Information and Public Relations and national film critic award winner Meghachandra Kongbam lamented that only about 10 cinema halls (including only one in Imphal) runs in the State which once boasted 58 halls. According to UNESCO, every 10,000 population should have a cinema hall, as cinema is a good medium for exchange of cultures among different countries and it helps in bringing peace in the world.
Chairman, Film Forum Manipur, L Surjakanta Sharma who presided over the function said more than 30,000 people depend for their livelihood on the film industry in Manipur.
The 55-year-old Usha Cinema which stopped screening regular films since 2012, will start screening films from September 6 next. It may be noted that the proscribed Revolutionary People�s Front banned the screening of Hindi films in the State since September 2000 saying it encourages �Indianisation.�