Ten filmmakers including Dibakar Banerjee, Anand Pathwardhan, Paresh Kamdar, Nishtha Jain, Kirti Nakhwa, Harshvardhan Kulkarni, Hari Nair, Rakesh Sharma, Indraneel Lahiri and Lipika Singh Darai today returned their National Awards as their way of protesting government’s intolerance towards the ongoing FTII issue and the killings of Pansare, Kalburgi and Mohammed Akhlaq.
While the above mentioned filmmakers have been vocal in their protest, Bollywood, by and large, has remained silent on the raging FTII matter.
However, Dibakar feels the FTII issue has no connection to Bollywood. When we quizzed Dibakar on the same, the filmmaker said, “I don’t think this is an issue that is connected to Bollywood unfortunately. It is an issue that is connected to education and teaching. It just happens to be that this is the film and TV institute of India. When it happens in an engineering institute, you don’t ask engineering companies all over the world to unite behind the engineering students. Because the film industry has got its huge share of publicity, we think it is a Bollywood issue. It is not. It is thoroughly an issue of the citizens. It just happens that these students are being taught films rather than literature. The same could happen in another institutes that are teaching literature. Then literateurs and citizens would be protesting.”
Talking about his decision to return the award, Dibakar said, “It is not politically motivated. It is motivated from my conscience. I would rather do something that doesn’t matter to anyone else than not do something. That is the only choice i have exercised. But beyond that I am powerless. But I have enough in me to return this and try and raise the attention the citizens of india.”
Dibakar, however, sounded uncertain when asked if he would take back his National Award if the issues get resolved in future. “I had never thought I would ever return my national award. If the FTII issue gets resolved, instead of thinking if taking back my award, I would rather go and distribute 10 more,” he said.
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