It all started when some prominent writers & poets returned their Sahitya Academey Awards over the rising intolerance in India and especially after the mob lynching of an old Muslim in Uttar Pradesh over beef eating rumours . The academics joined the growing discontent and then 10 prominent film makers lead by DIBAKAR BANNERJEE & ANAND PATWARDHAN returned their national honors for the continuing silence of the Central Govt.. Dibakar Bannerjee returned his national honor for film KHOSLA KA GHOSLA and that triggered a twitter war and TV debates with various bollywood personalities joining the debate in various platforms. ANUPAM KHER came out flying and slamming those who returned their honors asking why they never took this step before. It seemed that Bollywood was split amongst those in favour and against the present Modi Govt. SHAHRUKH KHAN celebrated his 50th birthday and at an interaction with media , showed his discontent about the growing intolerance in India and though he supported those who returned their honors , he himself said no to returning awards and instead suggested strikes & protests and that triggered various allegations with many calling him a Pakistani agent while others asked him to go to Pakistan.
It didn’t help any when Hafiz Sayeed , the leader of banned LET in Pakistan , invited him to Pakistan instead while Baba Ramdev & other BJP leaders openly criticised Shahrukh Khan ! VIDYA BALAN , RISHI KAPOOR , ANIL KAPOOR expressed concern but refused to join the AWARD WAAPSI movement while SHARMILA TAGORE , MAHESH BHATT & SHOBHA DE condemned the present mood and asked for strong Govt. measures. But the growing discontent continues as prominent author ARUNDHIDITI RAO returned her national award and she was immediately followed by director KUNDAN SHAH as he returned his national award for JAANE BHI DO YAARO. Amidst all this , Anupam Kher started a new campaign to ridicule those who are returning the awards and he’ll be leading a protest march from India Gate, New Delhi to Presidents House and it’s said that many from the Bollywood fraternity will be joining him , confirming the widening split in bollywood. How many more will return their awards and how many from bollywood will come out supporting Anupam Kher , Madhur Bandarkar & Hema Malini is something we’ll all have to wait but it surely doesn’t reflect well because afterall , bollywood fraternity has always stood together but the debate over TOLERANCE vs INTOLERANCE has certainly split BOLLYWOOD !!!
Kamal Sharma, president of Kamal’s Video Palace, the biggest Indian video store in North America and concert promoter since 1994, is a popular TV host on Shaw Multicultural Channel of “Kamal’s Top 5 Hits” and “YAADEIN,” the longest running South Asian TV shows for more than 31 years.