FTII row: Filmmaker Kundan Shah to return his National Award


Film director Kundan Shah said on Thursday that he would return his National Award in a couple of days over the FTII tangle and increase in incidents of intolerance in the country.

Speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of the Manipal International Film Festival organised by students of School of Communication, Manipal University, Mr. Shah said that he had to come to attend the film festival here or he too would have been part of the team of filmmakers who had returned their national awards.

Mr. Shah, who bagged the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a director for ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’, said that the way the government had handled the 139-day strike by the students of FTII over the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the Institute’s president was incorrect. The appointment of Mr. Chauhan was forced on the students, though some Ministers and bureaucrats unofficially agreed that it was a wrong choice.

“This government (at the Centre) cannot be trusted. It is saying that however unsuitable a person we have selected is, you take it. They are forcing it down your throat,” he said.

Mr. Shah said that there was lot of government interference in the appointments to cultural and educational institutions. “The appointments are being done with a certain kind of agenda, some game-plan or some devious philosophy or ideology in mind. I will return my national award after returning to Mumbai.”

As regards the withdrawal of strike by the students of FTII, Mr. Shah said: “The battle is lost, but the fight will continue. The appointment of (Mr. Chauhan) is a slap on my face. Their (government’s) attitude is: ‘Take, what we give. Don’t argue.’ I want to question the Minister and the Prime Minister. Let them find out a better person in the BJP to head the FTII. He (Mr. Chauhan) is not Yudhishtir. He has played Yudhishtir.”

It may be recalled that 10. filmmakers had decided to return their National Awards in Mumbai on Wednesday.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:21:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/filmmaker-kundan-shah-to-return-his-award-over-ftii-intolerance-issues/article7818343.ece

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