Manipuri Filmmaker Aribam Syam Sharma Returns Padma Shri To Protest Citizenship Bill

Imphal: Renowned Manipuri filmmaker Aribam Syam Sharma on Sunday declared that he will be returning his 2006 Padma Shri award as a mark of protest against the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.

This was informed by Sharma through a press conference at his Imphal residence. The filmmaker said he has decided to return the award to express solidarity with those protesting against the Union Government’s proposed amendment to the Citizenship Bill in North-east India.

Saying that the people in Manipur need protection, Sharma exclaimed that the state has only one or two MPs in a house of 500 plus members.

“They should respect us as a state – small or big. It should not be counted on population basis. I raise this because the Union of India is made up of states,” he said.

“When the north-eastern states jointly represent or present something in the government, they should consider it and if they do not consider, naturally we have to oppose. So, as part of showing solidarity, I decided to return the award,” says the 83-year-old globally renowned filmmaker.

Notably, late president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam had conferred the Padma Shri award to Abiram Syam Sharma in 2006 for his contribution to Manipuri as well as global cinema.

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