10 Indian filmmakers return National Awards
Now it is the turn of India’s film makers to return their national awards to protest against the rising intolerance in the country over religious and cultural issues.
Ten filmmakers including Dibakar Banerjee and Anand Patwardhan returned their National Awards on Wednesday to protest the FTII row and ‘growing intolerance’ in the country, also referring to murders of rationalists MM Kalburgi and Govind Pansare.
“We are disenchanted with what is happening in our country,” Patwardhan told a news conference. The artistes cited ‘threat to diversity and freedom of expression’ as the reason for giving up their awards.
“Murders of rationalists are not random acts of violence. People are being murdered for their beliefs and opinions… If we don’t protest now, we’re in danger of being part of flattening diversity,” he added.
Other filmmakers who returned their National Awards included Lipika Singh, Nishtha Jain, Anand Patwardhan, Kirti Nakhwa, Harsh Kulkarni and Hari Nair.
A string of writers including Ashok Vajpeyi returned their honours to express anger over the Akademi’s silence on rising attacks on free speech.