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Kher to shun prestigious awards

Anupam Kher is opposing Jahnu Barua's nomination in debut director category.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2006 16:06 IST

An outraged Anupam Kher has decided to stay away from the Screen Awards function next week after critically acclaimed director Jahnu Barua was nominated in the best debut category for Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara.

Anupam, who plays the lead role in the film, lambasted Screen.

He said: "How could they nominate my director Jahnu Barua in the 'best debut' category? Barua has made many films in his native language Assamese and won innumerable national and international awards... Just because they think Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara is Jahnu's first feature film they've chosen to insult him, me and the film."

He added: "First of all Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara isn't Barua's first Hindi film. In 1982, he made Apeksha, which was the Hindi version of his Assamese film Aparoopa. It featured Suhasini Mulay in the lead. Besides that he has made eight-10 feature films before Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara.

"I thank god that Satyajit Ray's first Hindi film Shatranj Ke Khiladi was made many years ago. Today, he'd probably have been nominated for best debutant for Shatranj Ke Khiladi."

He said he wouldn't change his mind. "My decision is irreversible. It's an insult to the director and me. My Gandhian film got honoured in Pakistan. And this is how they honour the film and its maker in Mumbai? So, no thanks! I am not reconsidering my decision to attend the awards. Sometimes your absence is the best way of making your presence felt."

Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara is Barua's tenth film.

First Published: Jan 05, 2006 16:06 IST