Hyderabad, Aug 9 ‘Free screening of the 1982 Oscar-winning movie ‘Gandhi’ began in 552 theatres across Telangana on Tuesday.

The movie in Telugu and Hindi will be screened from 10 a.m. to 1.15 p.m. daily from August 9 to August 22.

The state government has made elaborate arrangements for the free of cost screening of ‘Gandhi’, starring Ben Kingsley in the title role.

Officials said 22 lakh school children are expected to watch the movie in theatres.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and special chief secretary, urban development, Arvind kumar participated in the film show on the inaugural day at a theatre at Attapur in Hyderabad.

Directed by Richard Attenborough, ‘Gandhi’ is a biographical film about the life of Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom movement, following him from 1893 to 1948.

A co-production between India and the United Kingdom, the movie was released in India on November 30, 1982. It received 11 nominations at the 55th Academy awards, winning eight including best picture, best director and best actor (for Kingsely).

The screening of ‘Gandhi’ is part of ‘Swatantra Bharatha Vajrotsava Dwi Sapthaham’ or two-week long celebrations organised by Telangana government to mark 75 years of India’s independence.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday launched the celebrations at a colourful ceremony at Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) by hoisting the national flag.

During his speech on the occasion, he appealed to the people to condemn the attempts to malign the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi’s image as a global leader and fight against the dirty conspiracies being hatched to divide India. “Attempts are being made to divide the nation on communal lines to derive political mileage,” he said

No nation in the world will attempt to show its history in poor light. Unfortunately, we are seeing instances in our country that seek to humiliate and tarnish the image of a globally renowned leader such as Mahatma Gandhi. This is a bad trend and needs to be condemned by everyone,” CM KCR said

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