Unfazed by accusations of being “irresponsible” and “callous”, superstar Kamal Haasan today stood by his decision of not joining those who are returning their awards against “growing intolerance” saying he doesn’t think that it would lead to a solution.
Haasan is also one of the signatories on a memorandum that was handed over to President Pranab Mukherjee today by Anupam Kher-led group, who organised a rally against those returning their awards.
“I have been accused of irresponsibility and callousness when I said I will not return my award because I want to raise my voice against intolerance. I respect the jury. They were peers, people with intelligence who had thought that I am worthy of it. I salute them and have taken the award. If I have something against the government, there are so many podiums including this one,” he told reporters here.
However, the actor said those who are retuning their awards have a podium and should use this podium to raise their voices against the government.
“I am sure all those people, who have returned their awards, have a podium. They should raise their voice, against any government, not necessarily this one, which stifles their freedom of speech or way of life.
“They are running the government for us, for me and if they are doing it well, we appreciate them. And if we found there are some flaws, we voice them. Any sensible government will hear it. If they don’t we will raise our voices.”
A number of filmmakers, scientists, writers and historians have returned their awards to protest against the “climate of intolerance” in the country.
Filmmakers, who have returned their awards, include names like Dibakar Banerjee, Saeed Mirza, Kundan Shah, Anand Pathwardhan and Nishtha Jain among others.