Mumbai: Actor Manoj Bajpayee, who will be seen as a professor in “Aligarh”, noted that in a democratic country, any one can present his own viewpoint.
“I would say that those who are returning awards and those who are not returning awards are a person’s own standpoint… after all we all live in a democratic country. Personally, I don’t have anything to say about it,” he said at the Jio MAMI festival in a response to a query on the return of National awards by some directors to protest the current “culture of intolerance”.
“Aligarh”, starring Rajkummar Rao and Manoj Bajpayee, is based on the actual story of Professor Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, who was fired from his job because of his sexual orientation. Directed by National Award-winning filmmaker Hansal Mehta, “Aligarh” premiered on Friday at the 17th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival in Mumbai.
Rajkummar, who previously worked with Mehta in the National Award-wining 2013 biographical “Shahid”, plays a journalist in the film.
“After 17 years, MAMI is opening with a Hindi film and being a part of ‘Aligarh’, I am honoured. I am overwhelmed with the buzz ‘Aligarh has created internationally and in our country,’ said Manoj.
“Aligarh” turned out to be the second Hindi film, after veteran actress Jaya Bachchan-starrer “Hazar Chaurasi Ki Maa”, to open at the festival since its launch in 1998. The premiere was attended by Bollywood stars like Vidya Balan, MAMI chairperson, filmmaker Kiran Rao, and “Pyaar Ka Punchnama” actor Kartik Aaryan, among others.