‘I won’t re­turn my Na­tional Award’

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Prashant Singh ■ prashant.singh@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Re­cently, a num­ber of film­mak­ers and artists from across the na­tion, made head­lines when they re­turned their awards (given to them by the gov­ern­ment), cit­ing the ris­ing ‘in­tol­er­ance’ in the coun­try. The most re­cent ex­am­ple is that of Odia poet Jayanta Ma­ha­p­a­tra, who has re­turned his Padma Shri.

But film­maker Tig­man­shu Dhu­lia says that he won’t re­turn the Na­tional Award he re­ceived for his 2013 film, Paan Singh To­mar, even though he re­spects the voices of the protest.

“I am with the peo­ple who are re­turn­ing their awards, but per­son­ally, I won’t re­turn mine. They are ab­so­lutely right when they say that they don’t have any other way to ex­press their protest. But I won’t do the same be­cause I didn’t get the hon­our dur­ing this regime. What­ever prob­lems and is­sues peo­ple have is from this (the cur­rent gov­ern­ment’s) regime,” says the film­maker.

The 48-year-old adds that re­turn­ing an award that “hasn’t been given by the cur­rent, but some other gov­ern­ment” doesn’t make sense to him.

“The Pres­i­dent of In­dia gives you the award, so it’s (re­turn­ing) not a good ges­ture. In a way, you are in­sult­ing the Pres­i­dent of In­dia, and the peo­ple of In­dia. How­ever, I still stand with the peo­ple who are re­turn­ing their awards. And I also agree with the rea­son for which they are re­turn­ing their hon­ours. I agree that the ‘in­tol­er­ance’ level in the coun­try has gone up. And now, I fear that it will grow even fur­ther,” adds Tig­man­shu.

PHOTO: WASEEM GASHROO/HT

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