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On October 28, 12 Indian filmmakers announced his decision to return to its National Awards. At first glance, it seemed that they were joining the writers who had returned to his early Sahitya Akademi award in protest against “growing intolerance” in the country. But an adjustment factor this particular incident, apart – was the first case in which the film industry otherwise apolitical had decided to adopt a political stance. And those expressing their opinions publicly documentarians were not alone, but also included the names of the mainstream, as Dibakar Banerjee.
“Most of us have let our work speak for us all these years,” says the veteran filmmaker Saeed Mirza, who was among the second batch of film professionals who returned their prizes. “But it is the responsibility of the artist to react if he or she sees the blatant exploitation of the rights of citizens. In several incidents in the recent past, such as the murders of activists and lynching over meat in Dadri, it was time to do more than talk about it through our work, “he adds.
In the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections period, the awareness and interest of citizens in politics increased manifold. Social media gave their opinions a platform. But there have been signs of growing unrest within the industry regarding the governance of the country since then. Take, for example, drafted a letter, signed and distributed by prominent members of the industry, such as directors and Zoya Akhtar Imtiaz Ali, where a call was made to the people to vote for a “secular government” in the Lok Sabha elections last year. The letter, seen by many as an attempt to weaken the BJP enjoyed broad support then saw Mahesh Bhatt confrontation with his brother and partner Mukesh Bhatt, who was an ardent supporter of the party and was also of the opinion that the film industry must remain neutral in political affairs.