Monday, August 2, 2021
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Writers returning awards for garnering publicity

More than 20 writers of different languages across the nation have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards so far.  It has been reported that all writers were hurt with the spread of communal tension and rising intolerance in India. Writers are returning their Sahitya Akademi awards as a mark of their protest against the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to me writers are raking up the issue of Dadri incident deliberately to target Modi. Their actions seem to be provoked by those who cannot stand the popularity of the PM in the globe, among many world leaders and the good performance overall by his government and the ministers. The opposition and other opponents had perhaps, never expected that Modi and his group of ministers could the run the government at the centre quite effectively. He also has won the goodwill of several world leaders and other dignitaries of various fields. They all thought, rather had a notion that Modi as PM will prove to be a failure.

Now the main questions to those pseudo-intellectuals, intelligentsia: Why did the main opposition party (which was then ruling) and these literati and writers remain silent after Bhagalpur riots? Where was the intelligentsia when 60 people died in the Muzaffarpur Nagar? When Taslima Nasrin was attacked in 2007, where were these writers?

Did not these writers have something called conscience and concern then? Why did they not come forward to return their awards then? And did not attack the erstwhile government? The great joke is that one of the writers mentioned about Sikhs riots which occurred 31 years ago, as a reason to return her award! So she had her conscience pricked only after 31 years and only when there was a BJP government with Modi as PM! Look at these latest killing in the Congress ruled states:  A writer was killed in Bangalore (Karnataka) a few months ago? Why were these intellectuals silent? Because Karnataka is ruled by Congress?

Nobody protested or returned awards when Narendra Dabholkar was killed. Why because the state was then ruled by Congress? Why none of them showed any concern when an Indian soldier was brutally beheaded and many more being killed in the ceasefire violations, by the enemy nation, from across the Indian border? So the present actions by these writers and so-called intellectuals clearly show that they could tolerate all those events till a couple of years ago?

As matured writers, is it proper for them to hype unfortunate events to assert intellectual supremacy? Why not rise above prejudices and condemn every killing irrespective of religion? And finally, I would like to ask whether these writers have returned the prize money received along with the awards? Have they all sent their cheques to Sahitya Akademi? It’s learnt that some of them had just announced their decision but are yet to formally inform the Akademi? Why? Did they do so to seek cheap publicity and garner media attention? Have you all really returned the award citation and other benefits that you must have accrued post receipt of awards?

Krishna Kumar

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