Returning award row: 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' producer slams Dibakar Banerjee

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Mumbai, Nov 2: In a fresh controversy, Dibakar Banerjee was on Monday, Nov 2, slammed by the Bollywood Film Producer Savita Raj Hiremath.

Dibakar had won National Film Award for the 2006 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' for the Best Feature Film in Hindi category.

Dibakar Banerjee

Khosla Ka Ghosla producer Savita Raj Hiremath on Sunday, Nov 1, lashed out at Dibakar saying that he has no right to return the award as it is not his personal honour.

"I am very hurt that my film has got involved in this controversy. Dibakar has no right to return the award because this award is not his. It is given for the film that includes everyone - actors and the producer. How can he return the award? He should have spoken to me before making a decision," Savita told PTI.

The producer does not think that Dibakar's decision is politically motivated but feels that the director wanted to get some media attention for his recent production Titli, which released this Friday.

"I don't think his decision is motivated by politics. Dibakar is a good soul. But there are other ways to protest too. It is very clear that he is trying to get media space for his film which has just released. He is desperate," she said.

However, Dibakar said that Savita had a right to be upset.

"It's a hurtful and a disappointing decision for all of us. She's right to feel so. And my personal regrets to her for this. Yet somethings are bigger than a film," he said.
Savita questioned the director's intention of choosing to return the National Award for her film and not Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye.

"Why didn't he return the National Award which he received for Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!. He should have, but he did not because that was a Disney film. He would not take a chance with them. He might work with them in the future. Just because I am an independent producer does not mean he can take me for a ride. I will talk to him at length. A closer meeting with him is required. I am making Khosla Ka Ghosla 2. He is spoiling the brand I am trying to build," she added.

On Thursday, Oct 29, Dibakar had returned his award, in protest against the ongoing incidents of religious intolerance and in support of FTII students, who were protesting against the appointment Gajendra Chauhan.

Other filmmakers who have returned their awards are Nishtha Jain of "Gulabi Gang" fame, Paresh Kamdar, Kriti Nakhwa, "Hunterrr" director Harshvardhan Kulkarni, Hari Nair, Rakesh Sharma, Indraneel Lahiri and Lipika Singh Darai.

"Returning my very first National Award which I received for 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' is not easy. It was my first film and for many my most loved", Dibakar had said during a press conference in Mumbai.

Earlier, Bollywood veteran actor Anupam Kher had also lashed at the filmmakers who had returned their awards, in a series of tweets. [Anupam Kher slams filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee]

60-year-old Kher said that these actors and directors were anti-Modi and never wanted him to become Prime Minister of India.

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