indian cinema heritage foundation

Unity Alone Can Bring Success

13 Nov, 2020 | Archival Reproductions by Nagi Reddi
A stamp dedicated to the eminent film producer and author of the piece, B Nagi Reddi. Image Credit: Wikipedia

During the past year, I had to bear the burden of being the official spokesman of the Industry. It is not necessary to explain how heavy and how strenuous it was, as you all intimately know every detail of the ordeals we have been through. The burden would have been heavier and more unbearable but for the personal affection, you and other friends have shown me the confidence you have reposed in me and the loyalty you have shown to our parent organisation—the Film Federation of India. The burden has now shifted from my shoulders to those of Seth Jagat Narain, the leader of the Industry in Delhi. I am sure you would all extend to him the same measure of support and confidence as you had done to me during the past year, and help in building up the Federation as a more effective instrument for protecting the Industry and solving its problems both internal and external. 

I wish to emphasize with all the strength at my command that the future progress of our industry lies entirely in our organisational strength-our unity and our capacity for self-discipline. This has to be achieved and maintained through the Federation. Believe me when I say that only a strong Federation can help the Industry to become strong. Only a strong Federation can protect the Industry from the vagaries of censorship and additional burden on the tax-load. Only a strong Federation can save the Industry from arbitrary import cuts and dislocation of the entire Industry. Only a strong Federation can secure proper representation to the Industry in the International Field. Only a strong Federation can secure discipline in the Industry and help it in organised growth and progress. And only a strong Federation can ensure for the Industry its due place in the social-economic and cultural structure of our Country. A weak Federation will only mean a weak and disorganized Industry. So it is our primary duty to mobilise all our strength under the banner of the Federation, to extend to it our best support and whole-hearted loyalty so that it can safeguard our interests and promote our progress and prosperity.
In the course of my discussions and negotiations at Delhi during the past year, I found that every Ministry was looking to the Federation as the most convenient medium for dealing with the Industry. Whether it is the Information Ministry or the Commerce Ministry or the Finance Ministry or the Ministry of Education or Culture, all of them have come to recognise the Federation as the one all-India representative organisation of the Film Industry. With the officials in the Delhi Secretariat, the Film Federation of India means the Film Industry of India. We owe this recognition to the laborious spadework done by my illustrious predecessors who carried out their duties in a spirit of dedicated service and in the face of many difficulties. It is now up to us to take advantage of the recognition that has been won and to press our claims for redress, relief or aid with the strength which only unity and discipline can give.
Our Ministers are our representatives, and our Officials are from amongst us. Their interests and our interests are one in the progress of the nation. It is true that we have had unfortunate differences in the past but these were due to mutual ignorance of each other's position. The government did not know the complicated structure of the Industry and the differences among regionsin the trade-pattern which had grown from historical causes, Government recognize that they have been a victim of multiplicity of counsel and are now looking to the Federation for the authentic views of the lndustry.

So, strengthen the Federation,. Unite every region, every branch, every section under its banner. Assure it of your loyalty Government are looking to it as your representative, Help it to fill that role in an honourable manner.
Friends, it is not necessary to dwell at any length on the dynamic changes that are taking place in the social, economic and cultural sphere all around us. The film Industry cannot stand aloof tethered to its past moorings. It is true that the Industry has been built up by the pioneers with a spirit of adventure and adventure carried with it both success and failure. Conditions have changed and the sphere of adventure is getting restricted more and more At this time it is organisational strength that becomes effective. The Industry owed its achievements and success in the past to the brilliance of individual leaders but brilliance in leadership is no longer sufficient. Leadership has to secure proper backing in the Industry. The whole organisation has to be informed by the democratic spirit, Leaders must understand the needs of all those engaged in the Industry, and all those engaged in the Industry should understand the realities of the situation and the difficulties of the leaders entrusted with responsibilities, The spokesmen should be fully alive to the needs of the industry and should, in turn, be assured of unstinted loyalty. Our ranks should not be divided by individualist views or doctrinaire adherence to out-of-date policies. It has been our sad experience during the past few years that brilliant leaders of our Industry justly reputed as the Makers of the Industry--have, in times of stress, conflict and crisis, found themselves out of tune with the needs of the larger elements of the Industry. On such unhappy occasions, they have preferred to cut themselves aloof rather than shoulder positions of responsibility. Such an attitude not only weakens the Industry in its organisational aspect but is bound to be detrimental to themselves also. I would earnestly appeal to these leaders to recognize the spirit of the times, to understand the needs of the industry as a whole and to bring the strength of their individual achievements to the strength of the organisation, and through the strength of the organisation advance the cause of the Industry. That in my view is the only true path of service to the Industry.

 Due to a variety of reasons, the pattern in the Industry varies from region to region. In its business structure, it is composed of different branches. Divergence in interests is bound to arise with every change. At that time a common platform is necessary for discussing the differences and composing them. The united demand of the Industry could then be formulated . And our Government pledged to democratic ideas is bound to respect-if not accept all legitimate demands backed by unity and discipline. 

I am comparatively a junior in the Industry. I can only share my thoughts and experiences with you and appeal to my elders. In the fast-changing order of things, the Film Industry has to take note of new spirit animating both Government and the public. Leaders and followers should bind themselves into one organisation to make its demands in clear terms Internal differences should be cleared or eliminated by frank internal discussions. Our representations to Government should go with one voice and in clear terms. Our ranks must not be divided; our loyalty to our organisation should be whole-hearted. Discipline and unity alone can bring strength and strength alone can ensure success.

So, strengthen the Federation,. Unite every region, every branch, every section under its banner. Assure it of your loyalty Government are looking to it as your representative, Help it to fill that role in an honourable manner.
I am sure Bombay as the pioneer home of the Industry and the pioneer home of the Industry's organisation will play its decisive part at this time of stress and crisis. I am confident that Producers in Bombay will give the necessary lead to the Producers in other regions in strengthening the Industry in its organisational side. My appeal to everyone in the Industry, big and small is rally round the Film Federation; stand united under its banner and press your claims. Victory is yours.

This article was a speech delivered by Nagi Reddi which was published in Film Industry of India compiled by B K Adarsh in 1963. 

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