Mumbai, Nov 6: Director Kiran Rao respects the decision of filmmakers to return their National Awards in solidarity with FTII students and to raise awareness about “growing intolerance”. “It is important to stand up and get your voice heard. I am happy that this is happening, as things are changing in our country. Not enough people have come forward and spoken about it or condemn it in past,” Kiran told PTI.(Read: Justin Bieber still struggles with fame)

“I am supportive of this move by the cultural icons and people who we respect, as they are the ones who can influence opinion. I am very happy that they are doing it,” she added. The students of Pune’s Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) went on an indefinite strike from June 12 against the appointment of television actor Gajendra Chauhan as president of the FTII society and chairman of its governing council.

Last month the students unilaterally called off their 139-day-old stir, but declared that “peaceful” protests against Chauhan will continue. However, the 41-year-old “Dhobi Ghat” helmer, finds the situation turning “sticky” as no one is still paying due attention to the demands made by the students of Pune-based film institute. “FTII issue has become a sticky situation. It is very tragic and sad that the students had to go through this. Nobody paid them attention and it just died down. It means our one arm of democracy is weak. I feel sad about it,” she said.