Central government’s reaction to protests on religious intolerance is scary: Anurag Kashyap


He never minces his words. And looking at the scenario where creative minds of the country are returning their awards and honours, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap feels suppressing voices of artistes can only put a civilisation into “grave danger.”

His reaction comes after the Bollywood megastar Sha Rukh Khan expressed his anguish over the growing religious intolerance adding that he too would return his Padma award if he had to over the menace of increasing communalism in India.

Multiple writers, filmmakers and historians have returned their national awards over the past few weeks, as a mark of protest against a growing atmosphere of intolerance in the country.

“The voice of dissent is being suppressed. For me, any civilisation that tries to suppress the voice of the artiste or the writer, is always in grave danger,” the director of “Gangs Of Wasseypur” told IANS.

“I always say that every civilsation and society has a duty to try and preserve its voice of artistes, of culture…. because if you don’t do that, it would be a very scary place to be in,” he added.

He feels that “sometimes a recognition makes you feel obliged (to do something) in a certain way”.

He says returning prestigious honours is the highest form of protest. “So, it’s their (the writers’) way of dissent as they think it is binding on them,” added Kashyap.

“It is the highest form of trying to stand up and say that ‘We disagree and we don’t support’. It takes a lot of courage, and I respect that kind of a dissent a lot,”

But the government’s reaction, he says is “scary.”

“It doesn’t affect them (the government) and they make statements like ‘Let’s see when they stop writing’. It is literally like there is this full sense of control wanting to be exercised…it’s scary,” added the acclaimed filmmaker, who delves in to darker realities with his films.

Whether it’s the Dadri lynching, rape assaults, FTII impasse or attack on freedom of speech, Kashyap is concerned about how “what is happening collectively around us is really scary”.

Kashyap’s last project as a director was “Bombay Velvet”, which failed to work critically or commercially.