12 FILM­MAK­ERS GIVE NA­TIONAL AWARDS BACK, ASK GOVT TO ACT

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HINDUSTANTIMES - Hu­maira An­sari hu­maira.an­sari@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Twelve film­mak­ers, in­clud­ing Dibakar Ban­er­jee and Anand Pat­ward­han, re­turned their Na­tional Awards on Wed­nes­day to protest “grow­ing in­tol­er­ance” and to ex­press sol­i­dar­ity with the FTII stu­dents.

The film­mak­ers’ de­ci­sion mir­rors that of a string of writ­ers and po­ets who re­cently gave back awards to voice their dis­ap­proval of what they said was an en­vi­ron­ment of in­tol­er­ance and gag­ging of dissent in the coun­try.

The move came hours af­ter the FTII stu­dents, strik­ing against the “po­lit­i­cal ap­point­ment” of Ga­jen­dra Chauhan as the chair­man, called off 139-day-old ag­i­ta­tion. They, how­ever, said peace­ful demon­stra­tions would con­tinue.

“Our past glory is be­ing cited as the rea­son for many acts and deeds. I feel that glory must be spelled out. To me, that glory was an ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that en­cour­aged ques­tion­ing, ar­gu­ment, de­bate and a give and take of ideas,” Ban­er­jee, hon­oured for Khosla Ka Ghosla said, in­vok­ing the guru-shishya tra­di­tion.

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