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Friday, December 13, 2019

Good thing I was interrupted at National Gallery of Modern Art: Amol Palekar

Amol Palekar had criticised the Ministry of Culture over its alleged decision to scrap the advisory committees of local artists at the gallery's Mumbai and Bengaluru centres.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: November 25, 2019 7:50:54 pm
amol palekar Amol Palekar thinks that the fact that he wasn’t allowed to complete his speech at an event organised by National Gallery of Modern Art sparked debates globally, and was therefore a good thing (Photo: Express Archive).

Looking back at an incident that fuelled discussions over right to expression, veteran actor-director Amol Palekar says it was good that he was interrupted at an NGMA event earlier this year.

The actor, who turned 75 on Sunday, said his comments weren’t about any particular political party as the establishment “will always try to curb opposition”.

“Establishment never likes dissent; it will always try to curb opposition. However, the attack on our right to express has taken an ugly mode in the last five-six years.

“I was trying to highlight certain wrong governmental decisions scarring the artistic freedom that we all enjoy. In the hindsight, it was good that I was interrupted several times because of which the issue was discussed even internationally,” he told PTI in an interview.

In February, the Gol Maal actor was repeatedly interrupted during a speech at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Mumbai before being completely cut off when he criticised the government.

Palekar had criticised the Ministry of Culture over its alleged decision to scrap the advisory committees of local artists at the gallery’s Mumbai and Bengaluru centres.

He said it was his duty as an artiste to speak out against the “autocratic and undemocratic modus operandi” of the government.

“I, as an artiste, ought to speak out against the autocratic and undemocratic modus operandi of the government – my fight is not against a particular party; it is against the ideology that will tear apart pluralism and the idea of India which we have nurtured over the years,” he said.

The theatre-film actor recently made a comeback to the stage with “Kusur – The mistake”, which he said will be his last play, a “show stopper”.

“I have no intention to keep on doing theatre. ‘Kusur’ is my show stopper. At my age, it is physically very demanding. Besides, I don’t know if I will be able to fulfil the audience’s expectations,” he said.

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