Intolerance to dissent is something we’ve seen happen pretty frequently in our country and it’s aggravated when someone is criticising the government.

According to this video shared on Twitter, veteran actor and director Amol Palekar was repeatedly interrupted and eventually completely cut-off while giving a speech at the National Gallery of Modern Art after his statements and questions criticised the government.

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Just got this video of one of my favourite actors, Amol Palekar, being cut off while ruing the loss of independence in art at @mumbai_ngma simply because he seemed critical of a Ministry of Culture/NGMA decision.

This is what #intolerance in the present times is all about. Sad!

Palekar was invited to speak at the opening of an exhibition called ‘Inside The Empty Box’ in memory of artist Prabhakar Barwe.

Soon after the event, a video of Palekar’s speech started doing the rounds on the internet. In the video, he is shown struggling to finish his speech because of being constantly interrupted by others.

The actor-director’s main point of concern was that the Ministry of Culture has abolished all artistes’ advisory committees at the gallery’s Mumbai and Bengaluru centres.

He was quoted as saying,

“Many of you may not know that this retrospective will be the last show decided by the advisory committee of local artists and not by some bureaucrat or an agent of the government with an agenda of either moral policing or proliferation of certain art commensurate with an ideological incline.”

Before he could complete his thoughts on this, a gallery member on the stage interrupted him and told him to focus on the event.

The video then showed him continuing his speech about how the decisions revolving around whose work should be exhibited will now come directly from Delhi from the Ministry of Culture. This caused another gallery member to interrupt him.

The woman is can be seen saying,

“This is not needed at the moment, sorry ….The function is about Prabhakar Barwe, please stick to that.”

But Palekar did not lose his ground and continued, adding that writer Nayantara Singh was invited to speak at the Marathi Literary Convention but was uninvited at the last moment because she might comment against the government.

At the end of the video, another woman tries to tell him off by mentioning that the National Gallery of Art is a government gallery and this is unacceptable.

After the video surfaced on the internet, people have been furious about the behavior metted to a veteran artist and an active social worker, in addition to the inability of govt officials to take criticism.

Veteran Actor and Film Maker Amol Palekar being rudely cut off and asked to shut up just because he was mildly critical of Ministry of Culture. There is no Intolerance. Only sycophancy is tolerated pic.twitter.com/pFN6rhQ1g9

Just got this video of one of my favourite actors, Amol Palekar, being cut off while ruing the loss of independence in art at @mumbai_ngma simply because he seemed critical of a Ministry of Culture/NGMA decision.

This is what in the present times is all about. Sad! pic.twitter.com/u8L30qeiz7

What a disgusting display of officious mediocrity, busily genuflecting before the government while insulting a great artiste like Amol Palekar. That’s why the govt needs to GET OUT of art/ art bodies and why they are wallowing in a swamp of decay

Even more shameful is that there were people in audience who apparently support art, culture, films and allowed Amol Palekar to be humiliated like this by Sycophants of Government https://twitter.com/joydas/status/1094267319818305537 

No matter who you vote, what happened to Amol Palekar today is most shameful.

Right wingers will give a shit.

And well liberals I have no hopes from, honestly.

But my heart cries. What a gentleman he is. And how rudely that lady spoke.

I have never seen such a intolerant government since my birth. Why this government so scared with every independent thinker? Utter shameful act.