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I think controversy is not new: Amol Palekar

Rahul Rawail, jury member of the Film Federation of India, has accused chairman Amol Palekar of manipulation during the process of selecting an Indian film for the Oscars. But, Palekar believes that there has been enough transparency from the jury’s side although he has not spoken about the selection process. Excerpts from the interview:

Amol Palekar
Amol Palekar

Don’t you think a jury member calling the chairman manipulative over selecting an Indian film for the Oscars hampers the credibility of the entire jury?
Every year there is some controversy either about choice of the film or about the process or about the jury members’ credibility. I think controversy is not new. There will also be a controversy on why the film did not win an award at the Oscars. This (controversy) has become an annual thing like a Ganesh Utsav or Durga Puja. The whole country is appreciating the choice that we have made then why are we giving importance to it this year? If we are looking for controversies then we are striving on them…this is the way I look at it and just leave it like that. Why should it hamper. Outside world is not concerned about it. People who are creating the controversy should think about it.

Rahul has questioned the process and has alleged manipulation. What’s your take?
All of us, including Rahul Rawail, have given an undertaking to the Film Federation of India that we will not talk about the process (of selecting a film). I certainly won’t like to breach it just because someone else chooses to do it. I respect the affidavit that we have signed not only because of the legal part of it but also the faith we have in each other.

Did you encourage any manipulation?
There is nothing but transparency from our side. We have followed everything (in the process) with absolute sincerity and complete awareness and true to our conscience and collective wisdom. As per the allegation, if there has been any deviation or any wrongdoing even by an individual like me, don’t you think one individual can manipulate the entire system? Don’t you think its like making a boxing match between him and me? I think you should also check with the federation.

Then what made him go against you?
That you ask him?

He said you were against the selection of Court as the official choice.
I will respond to this feebly. I have spent about 47 years in the industry and during all these years whatever acclaims, accolades I have managed to achieve but the objectives he is using like ‘corrupt’, ‘obnoxious’ and many more I am getting attached to my name for the first time. So I feel grateful to him adding such accolades to my name. I really feel these words were never attached to my career but now it has completed thing.

Will the federation or you personally call him for a meeting and resolve the matter?
There is nothing for us to resolve. Whatever process we were assigned and we did it completely. We have chosen a film which all of us thing is the right one. I as a part and the Chairman of the jury genuinely hope that Court goes on and hits the bull’s-eye. I would be extremely delighted and proud.

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