Payal Kapadia’s Cannes win: Shashi Tharoor urges PM Modi to withdraw case against her ’if India is proud of her’

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor urged PM Modi's government to drop the case against Payal Kapadia and other FTII students who protested against the appointment of an unqualified Chairman in 2015. Payal Kapadia is the first Indian to win the Grand Prix at Cannes for her film ‘All We Imagine as Light’.

Fareha Naaz
First Published28 May 2024
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor criticized PM Modi's praise for filmmaker Payal Kapadia and urged the BJP-ruled government to drop cases against FTII students who protested against the appointment of an unqualified Chairman in 2015.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor criticized PM Modi’s praise for filmmaker Payal Kapadia and urged the BJP-ruled government to drop cases against FTII students who protested against the appointment of an unqualified Chairman in 2015.(PTI)

Shashi Tharoor, the eloquent Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP, responded on Tuesday to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commendation of filmmaker Payal Kapadia's victory at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. He urged the BJP-ruled Centre to withdraw the case against Payal Kapadia and fellow FTII students protesting against the government’s arbitrary appointment of an unqualified Chairman.

The Congress leader, in a post on social media platform X (formerly Twitter), 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?"

Also read: Cannes 2024: Payal Kapadia becomes first Indian to clinch Grand Prix award for ‘All We Imagine as Light’

PM Modi took to X to appreciate Payal Kapadia's achievement, which marks the first Indian entry in the festival's main competition in 30 years. She was awarded the coveted Grand Prix for her debut feature film ‘All We Imagine as Light’. PM Modi's post dated May 26 read, “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’. ”

He added, “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.”

Also read: Payal Kapadia's ‘All We Imagine as Light’ is 1st Indian film to win at Cannes in 30 years; internet says ‘proud moment'

Payal Kapadia, the first Indian filmmaker to win Grand Prix and a former film direction student at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) from 2015 to 2018, faces legal challenges along with other fellow classmates after they staged protests in 2015 to oppose actor-turned-politician Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment as the president of FTII.

This agitation at FTII’s Law College Road campus in Pune marked one of the longest protests, spanning 139 days, in FTII’s history. Thirty-five students, including Payal Kapadia, who boycotted classes and all other academic activities, have their next hearing in Pune Sessions court on June 26. Students were also charged with rioting and wrongful confinement of the institute’s then-director, Prashant Pathrabe, in his office.

Also read: Payal Kapadia bags historic Grand Prix Award at Cannes Film Festival 2024 — All about the award-winning Indian filmmaker

‘All We Imagine as Light’ is a drama film written and directed by Payal Kapadia, which features Kani Kusruti, Divya Prabha, Chhaya Kadam and Hridhu Haroon in lead roles. The film was co-produced by international companies, including France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Italy, apart from India.

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