Award-wapsi season suddenly halted after Bihar elections: Anupam Kher

Jammu: Taking a dig at those who cried hoarse over ‘intolerance’ by returning their awards, actor Anupam Kher on Saturday said that it was aimed at Bihar elections and questioned the sudden halt of such a campaign.

“Somehow I raise my voice about award wapsi. This was for the first time this has happened. I thought it was done in a much planned manner and after the Bihar elections, the season of award wapsi suddenly stopped,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

“I always think that with the grace of God I have got many awards, even though the awards are given by an organisation, they represent the love and encouragement of the common people,” he said.

Kher, who is on a three-day visit to Jammu also inaugurated ‘Tawi Kinare’ Jammu Literary Festival 2015 today. Kher said that the biggest intolerance should have been shown against the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits, that remained hidden from the site of the people who returned their awards. The 60-year-old actor, who visited the Jagti Township of the Kashmiri Pandit yesterday, noted that he would be working on the return and rehabilitation of the community.

“Yesterday I went to the Jagti camp and met the refugees living there. There are two things which need to be done. First how to send them back to their houses which is a major task and the second is about their rehabilitation and to provide them with basic amenities,” he said. Talking about his experience at the Tawi Kinare, Kher said, “I felt very good after hearing the people, especially the writers”.

The actor also had a word of appreciation for the Prime Minister’s surprise visit to Pakistan yesterday. “It is a very big step as we both (India and Pakistan) come from a same background. It was only politics that separated us. People die when they say that we should pay them back in the same coin,” he said.

Talking further about the cause of the Kashmiri Pandit, the National Award winning actor noted that he would like to meet the representatives of the Jammu and Kashmir government to highlight the plight of the Kashmiri Pandit community.

“My wife (Kiron Kher) being a parliamentarian has raised this topic about Kashmiri Pandits. We need to have a concrete plan and take it to concerned ministries and the government and if possible to the Prime Minister and do the rehabilitation work in much better manner and also plan about their safety when they go back,” he said.