Our act not politically motivated, say writers
Writers from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, and Gujarat, who have returned their awards in protest against the alleged intolerance in the country, clarified here on Friday that their act was symbolic and not politically motivated. The writers, who had assembled here for a convention, interacted with presspersons prior to the event. Dr. M.M. Kalburgi Hatya Virodhi Horata Vedike, Dharwad, had organised the event.
Writers G.N. Devy and Anil Joshi from Gujarat, Rahimat Tarikere, K. Neela and others spoke on why they chose to return the awards.
They said that the killing of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, and Kalburgi prompted them and other writers from across the country to raise their voice against the mounting intolerance. “Returning the award is a sober and symbolic way of registering our protest,” they said.
On allegations that those who were returning the awards benefited from the previous Congress-led governments, the writers sought to clarify that they were non-political and said they had even opposed the Emergency.
Denying the charges that they were selective in opposing fundamentalism and intolerance, they said that just because the writers had not returned their awards earlier did not mean that they should keep quiet now.
The writers said that “the common in India was highly tolerant.” However, it was some fundamentalists and vested interests that were disturbing peace and harmony in the country. It was the duty of the writers, artistes, film-makers and other responsible citizens of society to register their protest on such occasions.
To a query, Mr. Anil Joshi clarified that they had not lowered the dignity and prestige of the country by returning the awards.
Writers Rajendra Chenni, Ramesh Oza, Uttam Parmar, Kanaji Patel, Manashi Jeni, Sanjeev Khandekar, Vaishali Narkar, R.K. Hudugi and others took part in the interaction.