Actor Kamal Haasan on Tuesday said he will not return his National Award over growing intolerance in the country. Hundreds of artists, including filmmakers and film students, have returned their awards and protested against rising incidents of intolerance such as the Dadri lynching. However, Haasan said it was a futile exercise, adding that intolerance must be defeated intellectually.
Addressing a press conference, Haasan said, "I won't [return my National Award]. That's my right. Returning awards will not have any effect. It is also necessary for [the people returning awards] to be tolerant. You will insult the government and the people who gave the award to you.” He also said that there were many other ways by which the matter could be addressed, adding that India had been intolerant even before the Bharatiya Janata Party government came into power.
Last week, actor Vidya Balan had also said that she will not give back her National Award as it was an honour bestowed on her by the country, and not the government.