Over 225,000 college and high school students across Maharashtra will be treated to a special free show of the film, 'Uri - The Surgical Strike', on Friday, Maharashtra Minister for Skill Development Sambhaji Patil-Nilangekar said on Thursday. July 26 is celebrated as Kargil Victory Day and today is the 20th anniversary of the historic event when the Indian Army successfully evicted Pakistani forces in the 1999 Kargil War.
"Around 497 cinema halls and multiplexes will simultaneously screen the film at the special free show at 10 am in 36 districts in the state," Patil-Nilangekar said in a statement.
Students from colleges and high schools are expected to watch the film tomorrow in large numbers to get inspired by the account of the valour and sacrifices of the Indian armed forces during the Kargil War.
Cinema Owners & Exhibitors Association of India President Nitin Datar said that the decision to exhibit the film and inspire the youth to join the armed forces was taken at a joint meeting with the minister last fortnight.
"All cinema owners, distributors and services providers have agreed to the free show for the students as a patriotic gesture to mark the historic occasion of Kargil Victory Day, a Datar told IANS.
However, some theatre owners have expressed reservations on the move, claiming they would be forced to cancel or push back planned shows for which tickets have already been sold out.
Others have questioned whether the state government will reimburse the cost of electricity bills for lighting and air-conditioning in the theatres and the GST that will be levied on the free shows.
Collectorates across the state have reached out to high schools and colleges and asked them to allow as many students as possible to go and watch the special show on Friday by showing their identity cards at the venue.
Besides single-screen cinemas, the film will be screened at any one screen in multiplexes and most have agreed since there is no big hype film release lined up tomorrow, Datar added.
Released in January 2019, 'Uri - The Surgical Strike' is a dramatized version of India's retaliation on Sept 29, 2016, to the deadly attacks by four heavily armed militants in J&K's Uri town on September 18, 2016, in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed at the Army base.
First Published: IST