Veteran actor Amol Palekar found himself stopped midway through his speech at the inaugural of the retrospective for late artist Prabhakar Barwe by none other than the Director of the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, Anita Rupavataram. She was objecting to his comments on the lack of independence of the NGMA, which is run under the Union ministry of culture as a repository of modern and contemporary art in India.
As he says, in his speech, only part of which he was able to deliver:
Why are these unilateral decisions taken? What is the real intention behind such restrictions? Isn’t this another level of censorship on artistic freedom? Isn’t this yet another assault on the federal structure of this plural nation? The policy of diffusion and abortion of eclectic voices and artistic expression has muzzled yet another institution! This control over the NGMA which is the sacrosanct venue for artistic expression and viewing of diverse art, is the recent most casualty in this ‘war against humanities’ as someone recently put it! I am truly disturbed… where is it going to stop? This sea of freedom is receding day by day, gradually but incessantly… why are we silent about this?? What is more upsetting is that those privy to such unilateral orders did not speak out, protest or even question it!
Watch these videos where he is being told to shut up in no uncertain terms: