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Regional cinema must be encouraged, be it Punjabi or Bengali: SRK

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By HT

Endorsing the Maharashtra government's diktat to multiplexes to screen Marathi films on any one screen between 12 pm and 9 pm, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Saturday said it is a "wonderful" move which would encourage regional films.

The government had earlier issued a directive making it mandatory for multiplexes in the state to screen Marathi movies during prime time slots of 6-9 pm.

But the norms were relaxed following a meeting between Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde and representatives of multiplexes and Marathi film producers.

"First of all I think every regional cinema should not only be supported but also encouraged. I have been living in Maharashtra for 25 years now and I am very anti anyone who talks pro or anti region. So, I am not going there," the 49-year-old actor said during a press conference here.

"But I think cinema of regions needs to be encouraged- be it Punjabi cinema, Bengali cinema- because all these form Indian cinema its not just Bollywood. And with this new diktat of 12 noon to 9pm I think it is a wonderful timing," he added.

The "Chennai Express" star, however, did not support the government's previous move to make Marathi cinema a compulsion in multiplexes and said that people should be given freedom of choice.

"Everything can be done with a little more freedom of choice for business man who have space. Then I think it is wonderful... As far as compulsion is concerned, I think nobody can ever be compulsed in terms of business. Allowing that freedom of 12 hours is a good.

"I believe Marathi cinema is wonderful, I am producing a couple of them. Hopefully all this will work out," he said.

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