Asking his audience to help in creating a ‘tolerant society’ in the country, celebrated actor Amol Palekar Tuesday said people must learn to “agree to disagree in peaceful ways”.
Speaking here after being felicitated with ‘Zenith Asia’ honour at the ninth Asian Film Festival, Palekar referred to the recent controversy involving fellow actor Naseeruddin Shah, the cancellation of singer T M Krishna’s concert in New Delhi last month, and similar incidents involving filmmakers and artists.
“In this time of great division, as an artiste, I am in search of diminishing grace,” he said.
Palekar also urged people not to succumb to the “unwarranted” narrative of ‘urban Naxal’, a term that has been used to describe the alleged sympathisers of Naxalite groups.
Speaking on the occasion, veteran director Kumar Shahani, who felicitated Palekar, recalled his memories of working with the actor and admired his qualities as an artist, who refused to confine himself to mainstream cinema and chose films that were different.
Palekar returned the compliment and said Shahani himself was known for his pursuit of perfection while making films.
“Bollywood is considered the face of Indian cinema. This has diminished the significance of other language cinema. I could come out of it and acted in Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada and Marathi films,” Palekar said, and urged his audience to not fall for this black and white duality.
While talking about female characters in films, he said even in Hollywood, female characters were given secondary treatment. “Almost all my films are female centric. I never portrayed my female characters in submissive, docile and stupid roles,” he said.