If India is proud of Payal Kapadia, shouldn't govt withdraw cases against her, Tharoor asks Modi

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, on Tuesday, took potshots at Prime Minister


Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, on Tuesday, took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had recently congratulated director Payal Kapadia, who became the first Indian filmmaker to win the Grand Prix award at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival for her Malayalam-Hindi movie All We Imagine as Light.

Responding to the congratulatory message of Modi to Payal Kapadia, the Congress leader, in a tweet, said, "Modi ji, if India is proud of her, should your government not immediately #WithdrawTheCases against her and fellow FTII students protesting against your government’s arbitrary appointment of an unqualified Chairman?"

PM Modi, in his tweet congratulating the director, had mentioned her institute.

"India is proud of Payal Kapadia for her historic feat of winning the Grand Prix at the 77th Cannes Film Festival for her work 'All We Imagine as Light'. An alumnus of FTII, her remarkable talent continues to shine on the global stage, giving a glimpse of the rich creativity in India. This prestigious accolade not only honours her exceptional skills but also inspires a new generation of Indian filmmakers," Modi said.

Cases against Payal Kapadia

In 2015, Payal Kapadia led a student protest against Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) over the appointment of actor-turned-politician Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the institute.

The protesting students had said Chauhan, best known for playing Yudhisthir in the TV serial 'Mahabharat', did not match the vision and stature of past chairmen of the FTII governing council and alleged that the appointment was politically coloured.

During the strike that lasted over 130 days, police entered the campus and arrested some of the students. As many as 35 students, including Payal Kapadia, were booked under Indian Penal Code sections, including 143, 147, 149, 323, 353 and 506, dealing with offences, some of them non-bailable, related to unlawful assembly, criminal intimidation and rioting.

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