Hurt Palekar hits out at NGMA

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE - OUR BUREAU /

Vet­eran ac­tor-di­rec­tor Amol Palekar, who was last week in­ter­rupted dur­ing his speech by some mem­bers of the Na­tional Gallery of Mod­ern Art and asked to stick to the topic, on Sun­day said he was hurt and that he was only try­ing to seek rea­sons be­hind the can­cel­la­tion of ret­ro­spec­tives of two se­nior artists.

“I came to know that with­out any com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee, the next two ret­ro­spec­tives have been can­celled by NGMA's new di­rec­tor Anita Ru­pa­vataram. I wanted to raise these is­sues. How and when these de­ci­sions were taken, we wanted to know," he said.

The ac­tor-film­maker told re­porters that the artistes' ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee at NGMA had ap­proved hold­ing of ret­ro­spec­tives of three artists -- of which Prab­hakar Barwe's work was in­au­gu­rated on

Fri­day. (Ret­ro­spec­tive is an ex­hi­bi­tion or com­pi­la­tion show­ing the de­vel­op­ment of an artist's work over a pe­riod of time.)

At the open­ing of Barwe’s ret­ro­spec­tive, Palekar was re­peat­edly in­ter­rupted dur­ing his speech by some NGMA mem­bers. “It is shock­ing. Pro­pri­ety of my com­ments

is be­ing ob­jected to by the NGMA. Since I was talk­ing about NGMA at their own venue and in­vited by the gallery it­self, how can it be im­proper?" he won­dered.

He fur­ther said that if the NGMA wanted him to talk only about the in­au­gu­ra­tion cer­e­mony, then he should have been no­ti­fied beforehand. He said he skipped por­tions of his speech af­ter he was in­ter­rupted.

Palekar's wife Sand­hya Gokhale was present dur­ing the press con­fer­ence at Pune. Both of them said that the in­ci­dent brings out and un­der­scores the sup­pres­sion of free­dom of ex­pres­sion. Gokhale said that cu­ra­tor Je­sal Thacker seemed to have been un­der pres­sure due to which she in­ter­rupted her hus­band’s speech re­peat­edly.

In a video of the same event at NGMA, a lady speaker is seen crit­i­cis­ing Palekar for his crit­i­cal re­marks." .... he did raise all our con­cerns, but de­spite that you should ap­pre­ci­ate that Na­tional Gallery of Mod­ern Art is a govern­ment gallery, sir," she told Palekar.

The se­nior ac­tor went on to men­tion that writer Nayan­tara Sah­gal was in­vited to speak at the Marathi lit­er­ary con­ven­tion re­cently but at the last minute the in­vi­ta­tion was with­drawn be­cause what she was go­ing to say "was slightly crit­i­cal of the sit­u­a­tion around us."

Mean­while, Ma­ha­rash­tra Con­gress spokesper­son Sachin Sawant said this was not an iso­lated in­ci­dent and that it was be­ing "de­lib­er­ately" done for the last five years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.