ACTOR Amol Palekar and his screenwriter wife Sandhya Gokhale said on Sunday that it was important to confront the government regarding the change of rules pertaining to arts exhibitions at the Ministry of Culture-run National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). They said, if need be, they would “seek answers from the government regarding the arbitrary policy change”.
Palekar and Gokhale addressed reporters in Pune Sunday in the backdrop of the incident on Friday when his speech, as chief guest at the inauguration of a retrospective of artist Prabhakar Barve, was interrupted by organisers when he started voicing critical opinion about recent changes in the gallery’s administration.
Palekar also expressed dismay over the reaction of artists during and after the incident, which he said, has left him “shocked and deeply hurt”. “When I wrote the speech and included these pertinent issues about running of NGMA, I thought that I would be applauded by the artists on the dais and in the audience for raising issues affecting them. However, when artists like Suhas Bahulkar and Jasel Thacker requested me to stop, I was shocked,” said Palekar.
Palekar said he had not received any instructions from the organisers that he could not be critical about government policies. He said he would have rejected the invitation if such a message had been conveyed to him.
Adwait Gadnayak, the director general, NGMA, issued a clarification denying allegations levelled by Palekar.