Bollywood director Dibakar Banerjee, who recently returned his National Award along with nine other filmmakers, has said he is sad that veteran actor Anupam Kher is unhappy with his decision of returning the award. “Anupam ji is right about the fact that the award is of the team. I regret the fact that they’re sad about me returning the award but I knew some people would be unhappy with this move. It was not a happy decision for me to take, so I was expecting it,” Dibakar said at an event.
Earlier this week, ten filmmakers, including Dibakar and Hunterr director Harshvardhan Kulkarni, returned their National Awards over “growing intolerance” in support for FTII.
Anupam, who worked in Banerjee’s Khosla Ka Ghosla, which bagged a National Award, criticised the filmmaker’s decision to return the award saying it belonged to the entire team and not just one individual. Dibakar also said the award belonged to the entire team of the 2006 comedy-drama but he was resigning only his contribution.
“It is their (the team) award too. But when I am returning the award, I am returning only my contribution to it. Through this I want to draw attention of the people that I am saying something. I am not a big filmmaker who people will listen to.”
Reacting to the criticism that the move of filmmakers and authors returning their awards is “selective outrage”, Banerjee said, “The moment there is a protest, people say why didn’t you protest then? There must’ve been some reason, does that mean I can’t protest? What was wrong yesterday is still wrong.
“Returning the award is not a happy decision. The whole point of protesting is giving away something which is precious... Otherwise there’s no point.”