Shabana Azmi throws her weight behind protests against religious intolerance


Veteran actress Shabana Azmi said on Sunday that the decision of several artistes and filmmakers to return their awards in protest against “a culture of intolerance” was a “symbolic gesture” of bigger things to come.

“It’s not an either or. Artistes returning awards will also reflect their concern in their work but making a film, writing a book takes time… Returning awards is a symbolic gesture that brings attention. Instead of damning them, read the writing on the wall,” Shabana tweeted.

She also hit out at those who accused the protests by intellectuals, writers, film-makers, scientists and historians as Nehruvians and Congress stooges.

She tweeted;

Union finance minister, Arun Jaitley, had described the protesting artists as Nehruvians who were protesting as part of the ‘manufactured revolt.

Last week, prominent writers like Ganesh Vispute, Sambhajai Bhaga, Harishchandra Thorat, Pradnya Pawar, Milind Malshe, Yeshu Patil, Vasant Patankar, Urmila Pawar and Mukund Kale returned their various state honours, joining their counterparts across the country.

Also, some of the leading filmmakers announced in Mumbai that they were returning their National Awards and other honours.

They included Anand Patwardhan, Dipankar Banerjee, Paresh Kamdar, Nishtha Jain, Kirti Nakhwa, Harshavardhan Kulkarni, Hari Nair, Rakesh Sharma, Indraneel Lahiri, Lipika Singh Darai, Vikrant Pawar, Rakesh Shukla and Prateek Vats — who took the step in support of FTII students.