‘I won’t return my National Award’
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.