New Delhi/Nagpur: After writers, artists and scientists it is the turn of filmmakers. A group of them announced on Wednesday that they will return their National Awards to the government in support of the striking students at the Film and Television Institute of India and also in protest against the rise in intolerance. The students meanwhile withdrew their strike on Wednesday though they said they would continue their protest.
The group of filmmakers includes directors Dibakar Bannerjee (Khosla ka Ghosla) and Harshwardhan Kulkarni (Hunterr), documentary filmmakers Anand Patwardhan (Jai Bhim Comrade), Rakesh Sharma (Final Solution) and Nishtha Jain (Gulaabi Gang), editor Kirti Nakhwa (Hunterr) and more. While some spoke to the press today, “others will soon announce their support,” one of them said.
“We have been thinking about this for some time. The government is not addressing the FTII strikers issues. But also, the growing violence and saffronisation is worrying and the ruling establishment has been silent in the face of all these killings and lynching,” Anand Patwardhan told the media. Patwardhan said he would return the gold medals and certificates he has got for many of his films, such as Bombay Our City and Ram ke Naam.
In all, 12 distinguished film makers have decided to return awards. More of them are expected to follow.
Gajendra Chauhan, the man in the eye of the storm is still staunch about not resigning as Chairman of FTII. “I can only appeal to this film makers to not take this step” he has commented.
Politicians have already jumped into the fray with AAP welcoming the step and BJP being critical of it.