The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the 64th National Film Awards on May 3, 2017 in New Delhi.
On the occasion, the President congratulated all the award winners, particularly, Shri K Vishwanath, the Dada Saheb Phalke award winner this year. He said that India has more than 200 languages, 7 major religions and 3 major ethnic groups. Yet, India’s huge population lives under one system and one Constitution. He stated that Indian cinema reflects this underlying unity of our diverse nation. Like the diversity of life, there might be diversity in the Indian film industry but it conveys the common message of universal brotherhood, tolerance, cooperation and co-existence. Cinema conveys the broad message of humanity and the best of Indian cinema has received the recognition of the nation today. Indians can be argumentative but not intolerant as there is no place for an intolerant Indian in our civilizational ethos and culture. He was happy that Indian cinema has not forgotten to convey this message to the people. He said that it was heartening to see so many young people being awarded on the occasion. It was an assurance that we can feel safe and secure that our national interests will be well protected in the future too. He congratulated the Government for its initiatives such as the Film Promotion Fund to help the film industry and film makers.