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Now, ex-servicemen join protest over ‘intolerance’; threaten to return medals, observe ‘black Diwali’

black-DiwaliAs the debate over intolerance rages in the country, the ex-servicemen have now joined the bandwagon.

Major Gen (Retd) Satbir Singh said on Friday that ex servicemen across the country will return their medals to the district collectors to protest. “We will return our medals, we will observe black Diwali,” said Singh.

The chorus over “growing” intolerance has been rising in the country as scores of activists, writers, scientists and filmmakers have returned their national awards in the past few weeks as a mark of protest against the government.

They claimed that the government has failed to handle the situation.

On Thursday, author Arundhati Roy and 23 other national award winning writers and filmmakers, including Saeed Mirza and Kundan Shah, said they are returning their awards as a “symbolic gesture” to draw the country’s attention to their fears in the “current atmosphere”.

Saeed Mirza, a screenwriter and director of Hindi films and television series, won a National Award in 1996 for his film “Naseem”.

Another filmmaker, Kundan Shah also announced that he will return the National Award that he received for the iconic 1983 film “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron”.

Other artistes and writers who signed the resolution included Sanjay Kak, Ajay Raina, Tapan Bose, Ranjan Palit and Anwar Jamal.

Roy said she was returning her 1989 National Award for Best Screenplay to protest “ideological viciousness” in the country.

She said she was not shocked by what was happening in the nation. She termed the lynching of a man over beef-eating rumour in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh as a “deeper malaise”.

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