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Misplaced activism or freedom of expression?

Lading Bollywood filmmakers have reacted to the incidents of writers returning the Sahitya Akademi award.

bollywood Updated: Oct 16, 2015 12:17 IST
Anjuri Nayar Singh
Anjuri Nayar Singh
Hindustan Times
Rahul Rawail,Dibakar Banerjee,Anubhav Sinha
Filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee.(Twitter)

Over 25 writers have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards in protest against the fact that the akademi has maintained a stoic silence on the murder of author MM Kalburgi, who was allegedly killed for his rationalistic views. Here is what Bollywood has to say…

Anubhav Sinha
It’s an expression of disagreement and dislike. All these distinguished people are collectively showing dissent publicly and I think it’s a good idea. But I would not like to believe that the government is not making an effort to talk to them

Rahul Rawail
I think it’s the right step to take. Freedom of speech is something that cannot be curbed. It is our constitutional right. I would agree with these people and what they are doing. Whether it will impact everyone or not, is not something we can’t say because it finally boils down to what the policies are, but as individuals I think standing for a right is the most important thing

Anand L Rai
I can feel their pain. I can understand what they are going through as writers. I am sure that this was not their first step. They must have done something else first. Now they have reached a point where they are thinking of returning these prestigious awards. The freedom of expression is very important and who knows it better than the writers. We just make a movie and move on, their words are everything to them, and these are immortalised in books.

Ashoke Pandit
This is a big farce. It is hypocrisy and an agenda against the government and Narendra Modi by the communist and the Congress lobby, who have remained silent on many bigger things in the past. This is not the first time that a writer has been killed. None of these writers took such an action after the 1984 riots or when Kashmiri Pandits suffered genocide. They are not happy with Modi being the Prime Minister and is using this to misguide people. Why this selective activism? I call them mafia

Luv Ranjan
The question is not if it is right or not. Why have we come to a situation that needs such protests? It’s such a shame that we are living in a society where there is no freedom of speech. You can’t wear what you want to and say what you want to. The way our society is shaping I don’t think we can be more regressive. I feel there needs to be a protest

Dibakar Banerjee
What other resort is left for people who speak on behalf of sanity? This is the only way out right now for academics and writers to get the attention of the country, especially when the country is extremely apathetic. The country doesn’t care. We are talking about politicians not caring, but the problem is that the people of the country also don’t care. So what other way is there to get their attention? The citizens are the ones who will suffer the most when their liberties are compromised.

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