Monday November 19, 2018
Home India 10 filmmakers...

10 filmmakers return national awards over growing intolerance

1
//
Republish
Reprint

Mumbai/Pune: In a dramatic development, 10 prominent filmmakers returned various awards and honours to the government, protesting impediments to freedom of speech and expression and showing solidarity with the FTII students, here on Wednesday.

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

“As filmmakers, we stand firmly with the students of FTII and are determined to not let them shoulder the entire burden of their protests. They have mounted a historic struggle and we urge others within our fraternity to come forward and carry this protest forward,” a memorandum signed by the filmmakers said.

The development came hours after three prominent alumni of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, announced they would return their national awards to protest against what they termed “an atmosphere of intolerance” in the country in last few months.

They are Vikrant Pawar of Maharashtra, Rakesh Shukla of Uttar Pradesh and Prateek Vats of Goa.

Pawar had bagged the President’s Gold Medal for his film, ‘Kaatal’ in the Best Short Fiction category in 2012.

Shukla won the Special Mention Award at the National Students Film Festival in 2013 for his film ‘Donkey Fair’.

Vats bagged the Rajat Kamal Award for Best Short Fiction for his film, ‘Kal, 15 August, Dukan Band Rahegi’ in 2010.

The decision by the filmmakers came shortly after the FTII students announced an end to their 139-day long strike, but resolved to continue their agitation peacefully to protest against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as FTII chairman.

Pawar said now the issue has “gone beyond FTII” and is affecting the entire education system of the country, right from the primary school levels, which is being changed without taking into account aspects which concern the society at large.

Pawar, Shukla and Vats join the long list of various scholars, intellectuals, writers, artists and others who have returned various national awards and honours across the country in the past few days.

(IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Returning such hard earned awards is not the solution to the problem. There can be other methods too. As all of these are prominent figures in the film industry, they can work together, take steps together for whatever they wish the government should do.

Next Story

Curb Racism And Semitic Intolerance In The U.S: UN Human Rights Expert

She also urged governments to work with the private sector — specifically technology companies — to fight such prejudices in the digital space.

0
Pittsburgh, Hate, shooting
Monks pay their respects at a makeshift memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue following Saturday's shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, Penn. VOA

Following the shooting deaths of 11 worshippers at a synagogue in the eastern United States, a U.N. human rights expert urged governments on Monday to do more to curb racist and anti-Semitic intolerance, especially online.

“That event should be a catalyst for urgent action against hate crimes, but also a reminder to fight harder against the current climate of intolerance that has made racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic attitudes and beliefs more acceptable,” U.N. Special Rapporteur Tendayi Achiume said of Saturday’s attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Achiume, whose mandate is the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, noted in her annual report that “Jews remain especially vulnerable to anti-Semitic attacks online.”

racist
A mother and her child arrive to place flowers at a spontaneous memorial of flowers and sidewalk writing a block from the Tree of Life Synagogue. VOA

She said that Nazi and neo-Nazi groups exploit the internet to spread and incite hate because it is “largely unregulated, decentralized, cheap” and anonymous.

Achiume, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, said neo-Nazi groups are increasingly relying on the internet and social media platforms to recruit new members.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are among their favorites.

Tree of Life Synagogue, racist
A person pauses in front of Stars of David with the names of those killed in a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, in Pittsburgh. VOA

On Facebook, for example, hate groups connect with sympathetic supporters and use the platform to recruit new members, organize events and raise money for their activities. YouTube, which has over 1.5 billion viewers each month, is another critical communications tool for propaganda videos and even neo-Nazi music videos. On Twitter, according to one 2012 study cited in the special rapporteur’s report, the presence of white nationalist movements on that platform has increased by more than 600 percent.

The special rapporteur noted that while digital technology has become an integral and positive part of most people’s lives, “these developments have also aided the spread of hateful movements.”

She said in the past year, platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have banned individual users who have contributed to hate movements or threatened violence, but ensuring the removal of racist content online remains difficult.

The Tree of Life Synagogue, racist
One man pays his respect in front of a Star of David memorial for one of the 11 victims killed in the Oct. 27, 2018, synagogue shooting. VOA

Some hate groups try to get around raising red flags by using racially coded messaging, which makes it harder for social media platforms to recognize their hate speech and shut down their presence.

Achiume cited as an example the use of a cartoon character “Pepe the Frog,” which was appropriated by members of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups and was widely displayed during a white supremacist rally in the southern U.S. city of Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

Also Read: U.N. Reports Global Cocaine, Opium Production At Heights

 

The special rapporteur welcomed actions in several states to counter intolerance online, but cautioned it must not be used as a pretext for censorship and other abuses. She also urged governments to work with the private sector — specifically technology companies — to fight such prejudices in the digital space. (VOA)