Shah Rukh Khan, Kamal Haasan, Vidya Balan won’t return their awards to protest the rising ‘intolerance’ in India
As the debate over filmmakers returning their National Awards to protest the rising ‘intolerance’ in the country is heating up, there’s a perpetual silence from another section of the film fraternity.
However, a few actors have put their point forward. These filmstars include National Award winning actors Kamal Haasan and Vidya Balan and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
Addressing a press meet in Mumbai, legendary actor Kamal Haasan on Tuesday (November 3) made it clear that he will not return his National Award.
“I won’t do it. That’s my right. Returning awards will not have any effect… It is also necessary for them (the people returning awards) to be tolerant,” Kamal Haasan said. “Kuchch nahi hoga (Nothing will happen). You will insult the government and the people who gave the award to you,” he further added.
Before Kamal Haasan, Vidya Balan, who has won a National Award for her performance in Milan Luthria’s ‘The Dirty Picture’, had said she will not give back her national award as it was an honour bestowed on her by the country and not the government.“This honour (the award) is by the nation and not the government. So, I do not want to return it,” Vidya Balan said.
On his 50th birthday, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, in an interview with a TV channel, had said that he supports the artistes who have returned their awards and believes they are brave. He also added that the move is good as a symbolic gestures, but he is not willing to return his Padma Shri or other movie awards.
“I mean just for a symbolic gesture, yes, if I have to.” At the same time, he said, “respect those who returned awards, but I don’t have to.”
Filmmakers Dibakar Banerjee, Anand Patwardhan and eight others had returned their National Awards, saying their decision to return the awards was taken in view of the apathy displayed by the government in addressing the students’ issues and the general environment of intolerance against debate.
Talking about his decision to return the award, Dibakar Banerjee had 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.”
Veteran actor Anupam Kher can be called the harbinger of this whole process of protests as he was among the first ones to tweet in disagreement with the award-returning spree.
Anupam Kher, whose wife Kirron Kher is a BJP MP from Chandigarh, termed the group of directors “Award Wapsi Gang”. “Some more usual suspects, who never wanted @narendramodi to become PM in d first place have joined the #AwardWapsi gang. Jai Ho,” he tweeted.
“Some of these usual suspects of #AwardWapsiGang were instrumental in getting me out of Censor Board the moment Congress came in power. #Agenda,” Anupam Kher further added.