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Award wapsi, a conspiracy, says Ashok Pandit

Mumbai, Nov. 05 : Condemning the decision of Bollywood filmmakers Kundan Shah and Saeed Mirza over announcement to return their National Awards, Indian filmmaker and social activist Ashok Pandit on Thursday said it is a “conspiracy” against development and progress of the nation which is the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“They have got together and created a conspiracy against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of development and progress of the country. I condemn with my heart the returning of the awards by my gurus Kundan Shah and Saeed Mirza and I am sad that such filmmakers who have made success and made property worth crore of rupees in this country with their work are telling that this country is intolerant,” Pandit told ANI here.

“I have worked under them during the time when the ethnic cleansing and genocide of my community happened, where three and a half lakh Kashmiri pundits were asked to leave from their homes. I have made a constant appeal to Kundan Shah and Saeed Mirza during that time to react, to talk, to write about it, to raise voice against my tragedy, the biggest human tragedy of post partition. But they remained silent they didn’t even talk once about it, they didn’t even think about returning award that time,” he added.

Pandit said that it is clear hypocrisy as when the intolerance really happened they remained silent.

“They today stand exposed and we will continue our fight against this pseudo intellectuals and these pseudo secularists who remained silent during my ethnic cleansing. And we will see that they stand exposed to the country,” he added.

Bollywood filmmaker Kundan Shah and Saeed Mirza who has decided to return their national award in protest against what they called ‘the growing darkness’ in the country.

Writer-activist Arundhati Roy also said in an article today that she was returning her award. “If we do not have the right to speak freely, we will turn into a society that suffers from intellectual malnutrition, a nation of fools,” she said.

Over 40 writers and artistes and 10 filmmakers have returned top awards to lodge their protest against what they call the threat to diversity and freedom of speech. The campaign began after the mob killing of a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri over rumours that he had eaten beef. (ANI)