The filmmakers who returned the awards on Wednesday are Paresh Kamdar, Nishtha Jain, Kirti Nakhwa, Harshavardhan Kulkarni, Hari Nair, Rakesh Sharma, Indraneel Lahiri and Lipika Singh Darai, apart from Banerjee and Patwardhan.
With the move, the filmmakers extended their support to the agitating Film and Television Institute of India students in Pune.
Through a series of tweets, Pandit shared: "When are these #Scientists #writers #Filmmakers returning the cash proponent of their awards?#ViralRevolt. "Dibakar Banerjee should have used some other means of publicising his film rather than falling into the trap of fraud gang of #secularists.". "Buddha In A Traffic Jam" maker Vivek Agnihotri criticised the move, saying that the filmmakers have already exploited the honour to their advantage. "India is the first and the only country where people don't refuse awards but return awards after milking them to their advantage," Agnihotri posted. Even Anupam Kher shared: "This #AwardWapsiGang has not insulted the government, but the jury, the chairman of the jury and the audience who watched their films."
"Some of these usual suspects of #AwardWapsiGang were instrumental in getting me out of Censor Board the moment Congress came in Power. #Agenda," added the veteran actor. The move by select filmmakers happened on Wednesday, only hours after three prominent alumni of the Film and Television Institute of India - Vikrant Pawar of Maharashtra, Rakesh Shukla of Uttar Pradesh and Prateek Vats of Goa -- announced that they would return their National Awards to protest "an atmosphere of intolerance" in the country in the last few months. Together, these incidents reflect the "peaceful" protests that FTII students have vowed to continue despite ending their 139-day strike against the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the institute's chairman.