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Mumbai: Bollywood director Dibakar Banerjee and 8 others have returned their National Awards to show solidarity with the protesting FTII students. The awardees are also protesting against the murders of rationalist author MM Kalburgi and activist Govind Pansare. Three ex-FTII students on Wednesday also announced the return of their national awards, after the agitating students called off their strike against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute’s chairman.
Dibakar Banerjee had won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi for Khosla Ka Ghosla in 2007 and the National Award for Best Popular Film award for Oye Lucky Lucky Oye in 2009.
Filmmaker Anand Patwardhan also returned his National Award. Patwardhan had received 7 National Film Awards, including for Bombay: Our City (1985), In the Name of God (1992) which was based on the demolition of Babri Mosque, War and Peace (2002), Jai Bhim Comrade (2011), In Memory of Friends (1990) and Father, Son and Holy War (1995).
Apart from Banerjee and Patwardhan, Tunnu Ki Tina writer Paresh Kamdar, Odia director Lipika Singh, Gulabi Gang director Nishtha Jain, Producer Kirti Nakhwa, actor Harish Kulkarni and Malayalam Cinematographer Hari Nair have also returned their national awards.
Meanwhile, former students of the institution and alumni Pratik Vats and Vikram Pawar have also decided to return the national awards that they had received for their films while studying in the institute. “We are going to return our awards and have written a letter to the President for the same,” Vats said.