Bollywood star Vidya Balan today said she will not give back her national award as it was an honour bestowed on her by the country and not the government.
The comment comes in the backdrop of some eminent film personalities returning their National Awards in solidarity with FTII students and against growing intolerance in the country. "This honour (the award) is by the nation and not the government. So I do not want to return it," Balan said at the 'India Today' Conclave here.
Filmmakers Dibakar Banerjee and Anand Patwardhan were among the 10 film personalities who have returned their National Awards in solidarity with FTII students and against growing intolerance in the country. Banerjee and other filmmakers said their decision to return the awards was taken in view of the apathy displayed by the government in addressing the issues raised by the FTII students and the general environment of intolerance against debate.
On Wednesday, the FTII students ended their 139-day-old strike to return to the classes against the appointment of actor and BJP member Gajendra Chauhan as chairman of the prestigious institute, but said they will continue to seek his removal. Meanwhile, Vidya Balan said she was not interest in joining politics and would "fail miserably" at it.
She also said that working towards social causes should be an individual decision and no one should be compelled to work for a particular cause. The 37-year-old actress will be next seen in the Marathi film 'Ek Albela', a biopic on actor-director Bhagwan Dada. She will be portraying golden era actress Geeta Bali in the film. The film is scheduled for release in January next year.