Shyam Benegal, Gul Panag abandon Vedanta film competition

MUMBAI Tue Mar 6, 2012 7:47pm IST

Bollywood actress Gul Panag poses as she attends an event in Chandigarh June 13, 2008. REUTERS/Ajay Verma/Files

Bollywood actress Gul Panag poses as she attends an event in Chandigarh June 13, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Ajay Verma/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Film-maker Shyam Benegal and actress Gul Panag have withdrawn from a film competition run by Vedanta Resources, amid protests by local groups against the company's operations in Orissa.

London-listed Vedanta has faced protests in Orissa over its bauxite mines, which local tribes say are located on a sacred mountain, in a high-profile tussle between big business and rural India.

Award-winning director Benegal and former Miss India Panag have withdrawn from the jury of the Creating Happiness competition, in which Vedanta invited students to make films in villages where the miner has a presence.

"I didn't want to be part of a PR exercise for the company," Panag told Reuters.

Vedanta declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. The miner has previously said its mine would not violate the rights of indigenous tribespeople, and that all its projects are conducted within the law and using international best practices.

"What they claim is somewhat exaggerated. Here it's not simply a growth story, we are talking about growth and development in human terms," said Benegal, who has made several films based on economic inequality and rural empowerment.

"This is a competition for students. There is no agenda. I don't think you should mix making of films and your personal views," film-maker Piyush Pandey, who is listed as the chairman of the jury on the competition website, told Reuters.

The film competition involves 114 film-makers from 21 colleges in India, who shot short films in Orissa and neighbouring Chhattisgarh, where Vedanta has projects.

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ten Years On

Ten Years On

10 years on, tsunami warning stumbles at the "last mile".  Full Article 

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Hopeful Dhoni

Hopeful Dhoni

India's new vintage nearly ready, says Dhoni.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Ali Hospitalized

Ali Hospitalized

Boxing great Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage