No ‘Award Wapsi’ group can scare or silence me: Anupam Kherhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/no-award-wapsi-group-can-scare-or-silence-me-anupam-kher-4912901/

No ‘Award Wapsi’ group can scare or silence me: Anupam Kher

“People never complain about standing in serpentine queues at hotels, ticket counters or any other place. But, they cannot spare 52 seconds to the tune of national anthem in respect of their country."

anupam kher, anupam kher ftii, national anthe, national anthem in theatre, triple talaq, shayara bano, Pramod Mahajan Memorial award, poonam mahajan, bjp, pune
Anupam Kher claps as Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar felicitates Shayara Bano, who fought against the practice of triple talaq, with the Pramod Mahajan Memorial award in Pune on Sunday. MP Poonam Mahajan was also present on the occasion. (Express photo: Sandip Daundkar)

Actor and Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Anupam Kher has slammed those who cannot spare 52 seconds as a mark of respect for the country in cinema halls and those feeling ‘forced upon’ in doing so, is simply because of their improper upbringing.

Kher was speaking at an award function, here in the city on Sunday, where he was presented with Pramod Mahajan memorial award. “People never complain about standing in serpentine queues at hotels, ticket counters or any other place. But, they cannot spare 52 seconds to the tune of national anthem in respect of their country,” said Kher, who was recently took charge as the FTII chairman.

The actor also rebuked his critics, who claim that the actor has suddenly emerged from nowhere and was being vocal against the country’s problems. “The country has been making rapid progress during the last three to four years and it has turned out to be an eye sore for many. Since they cannot with stand lack of corrupt practices and other good changes happening, they are trying to create issues,” added Kher.

Commenting on his outright nature and frequent confrontation on many issues, the veteran actor said, “ I have always put forth the true side of my life including the problems, hurdles and hardships I have faced. And that is why, no ‘Award Wapsi’ group or anybody can try to stop or scare me. I am younger to this country only by seven years, and I will speak up against wrong doings as my moral responsibility to protect my country, which I consider as like my older brother.”

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The historic Supreme Court verdict of de-recognising triple talaq practice among Muslims, crusader Shayara Bano was the second recipient of the award. Urging the youngsters of the country to support her cause, Bano said, “This battle has just commenced. There is a long way to go to get full rights. I hope no woman belonging to any religious sect faces discrimination.”

Reminiscing Pramod Mahajan, daughter and MP Poonam Mahajan said, “It was not easy to carry forward the legacy set by my father. I have taken failures on the face during the decade-long political career.” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar remembered his political friend Mahajan as a visionary. He recalled the late union minister’s words spoken in Assam about the party’s performance in the 2009 elections. “He was such a planner and visionary, he was shared with all of us, how the party would be facing defeat during the 2009 which was supported with concrete reasoning. He was a man who faced problems on the face of it.”