Palekar hits out at NGMA after being interrupted at event
    Mumbai, Feb 10 (PTI) Veteran actor-director Amol
Palekar, who was last week interrupted during his speech by
some members of the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA)
here, on Sunday said he was only trying to seek reasons behind
the cancellation of retrospectives of two senior artists.
    Retrospective is an exhibition or compilation showing
the development of an artist's work over a period of time.
    At the opening of an exhibition in the memory of
artist Prabhakar Barwe on Friday evening, Palekar was
repeatedly interrupted during his speech by some NGMA members.
    A video available on social media showed Palekar
criticising the Ministry of Culture for reportedly scrapping
the advisory committees at the gallery's Mumbai and Bengaluru
    The actor-filmmaker told reporters in Pune on Sunday
that the artistes' advisory committee at NGMA had approved
holding of retrospectives of three artists, of whom Prabhakar
Barwe's work was inaugurated.
    "But I came to know that without any communication to
the committee, the next two retrospectives have been cancelled
by Mumbai NGMA's new director Anita Rupavataram. I wanted to
raise these issues. How and when these decisions were taken,
we wanted to know," he said.
    Palekar said he was told that as per the new director,
four floors of NGMA would be used for displaying the works and
the dome (fifth floor) will showcase only fresh exhibitions.
    "It is shocking. Propriety of my comments is being
objected to by NGMA. As I was talking about NGMA at their own
venue and invited by the gallery itself, how can it be
improper?" he wondered.
    Despite being interrupted during his speech on Friday,
Palekar had refused to stop.
    He went on to mention that writer Nayantara Sahgal was
invited to speak at the Marathi literary convention recently
but at the last minute the invitation was withdrawn because
what she was going to say "was slightly critical of the
situation around us."
    Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin
Sawant said this was not an isolated incident and that it was
being "deliberately" done for last five years.
    He sought to draw a parallel between the incident
involving Palekar and several earlier alleged attacks by right
wing organisations on artists, social thinkers and public
personalities who had criticised the BJP-led government.
    "For the last five years, this government could not
tolerate any criticism from various sectors of society. Their
priority has been towards suppressing the dissent and
threatening those who follow a different school of thought,"
Sawant said. PTI ND