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Mixed response in Bengal to filmmakers returning awards

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Kolkata: The move by filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee and several others to return various government awards and honours they have received, as a mark of protest against impediments to freedom of speech and expression, has evoked a mixed response from others in West Bengal.

Actress Sudipta Chakrabarti, who won the National Award for Best Supporting Actress for ‘Bariwali‘, likened the honours as “weapons” for filmmakers, but said she is not considering a similar stand at the moment.

“I am not thinking of returning the award at this moment, but if there is a collective effort, then I will support it,” she said.

Shabdo’ director Kaushik Ganguly feels that protesting through his own medium (making a film) is much more significant for him.

“I respect the filmmakers’ decision to return the awards. But others may have different ways of agitating. I may use films or writing as the way to protest,” he said.

Singer Rupankar Bagchi, who bagged the National Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the song ‘E Tumi Kemon Tumi’ from ‘Jaatishwar’, questioned the decision.

“Is returning the award a form of protest? I do not think so,” he said.

Earlier, poet Mandakranta Sen gave back her Sahitya Akademi Award.

The filmmakers who returned the awards on Wednesday are Anand Patwardhan, Dipankar Banerjee, Paresh Kamdar, Nishtha Jain, Kirti Nakhwa, Harshavardhan Kulkarni, Hari Nair, Rakesh Sharma, Indraneel Lahiri and Lipika Singh Darai.

The filmmakers expressed solidarity with the agitating FTII students in Pune.

The development came on Wednesday, hours after three prominent alumni of the Film and Television Institute of India announced that they would return their national awards to protest “an atmosphere of intolerance” in the country in the last few months.

(IANS)

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

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Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)

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