RESTLESS AND HURT AFTER SPEECH CUT SHORT: PALEKAR
PUNE: Amol Palekar, a veteran film personality, said he is now “restless” and “hurt” over the manner in which he was frequently interrupted during a speech he attempted to deliver at the National Gallery of Modern Art on Friday.
The curator of the gallery, Jesal Thacker, interrupted Palekar during the speech, requesting him to stick to the talking about the event - artist Prabhakar Barwe’s retrospective - causing the actor to cut-short his talk.
Addressing a press conference in Pune on Sunday, Palekar said that since he was not given any specific brief by the gallery on what he should speak on, there was no question of “propriety”, as citied by organisers. “If I was informed earlier what to speak on, I would have had the option of not accepting the invitation,” said Palekar. “I feel restless that no one in the audience thought of speaking out, or no one said, let Palekar speak my mind.”
Palekar criticised the ministry of culture for reportedly scrapping an advisory committee for the national galleries in Mumbai and Bengaluru. That was when the curator of the Mumbai gallery, Thacker, interrupted him.
Post Amol Palekar’s press conference, the incident quickly gained a political hue with senior NCP leader and Baramati MP Supriya Sule stating, “This is a sign of an undeclared emergency in the country. Our democracy holds freedom of speech as a fundamental right of the citizens. Who is shooting guns from the shoulder of the ministry of culture?,” she asked.
MNS leader and former MLA Nitin Sardesai also issued a statement, saying, “This has been going on for quite some time and people have started realising it only over the last one year or so. We are of the view that the artists must come out in the open to air their views as they are the opinion makers.”