After Amol Palekar’s ‘Freedom Of Speech’ criticism, Ministry of Culture issues a clarification
Veteran actor-director Amol Palekar (known for his acting chops) recently took a public stand against the Ministry of Culture for scrapping the local artists’ committee at the gallery’s center in Mumbai and Bangalore. Acting on his criticism, the committee has issued a clarification claiming that the advisory committee has not been dissolved.
It so happened that the veteran actor, who was invited by the National Gallery of Modern Art to felicitate the work of seasoned artist Prabhakar Barwe, exhibited and voiced his concerns over the reported scrapping of the advisory committee of local artists. They decide whose work will be displayed at the NGMA.
A video of Palekar being interrupted and asked to stop his speech at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) event on February 8 soon went viral on the social network with several senior journalists taking up arms for humiliating the dignified actor.
Just got this video of one of my favourite actors, Amol Palekar, being cut off while ruing the loss of independence in art at @mumbai_ngma simply because he seemed critical of a Ministry of Culture/NGMA decision.
— Annu Tandon (@AnnuTandonUnnao) February 9, 2019
Three days later, the ministry in a statement has claimed that, “The advisory committees of NGMA Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi have not been dissolved. Their terms have ended recently (Mumbai and Bengaluru committee terms ended on November 15, 2018, and of Delhi on January 17, 2019). The committees are in the process of being reconstituted.”
The ministry further added that recommendations of the previous advisory committees will be “honored” and “the exhibitions of artists will be held as proposed”. They said that the new advisory committee will take a decision relating to future exhibitions.
Amol Palekar’s wife Sandhya Gokhale reacted to the ministry’s clarification and spoke to The Wire. She is of a view that Amol was raising a pertinent issue. Therefore, the statement issued by the ministry makes it clear that they were up to something and are now being held accountable.