Even as the nation struggles to come to terms with the shocking reality of the Dadri Lynching incident and many question Prime Minister Modi’s silence over the heinous act, there is a section of the society that has decided that enough is enough and it is high time to take action against the growing incidents of violence and intolerance on religious ground. Yes I am talking about the litterateurs who with their mighty pen continue to amaze us and enthral us spinning colourful tales revolving around reality.
The latest to hit the headline has been Nayantara Sahgal returning the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in protest against the mob violence and lynching in Dadri. In an open letter titles, ‘The Unmaking of India’, she has said, “India’s culture of diversity and debate is now under vicious assault. Rationalists who question superstition, anyone who questions any aspect of the ugly and dangerous distortion of Hinduism known as Hindutva — whether in the intellectual or artistic sphere, or whether in terms of food habits and lifestyle — are being marginalized, persecuted, or murdered.”
Her dissent is not only against the murder of Mohammed Akhlaq on suspicion of his supposed beef consumption but several other such instances that we have seen in the recent past. It includes the murder of noted Kannada writer and an Akademi award winner, MM Kalburgi and activists like Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.
Apart from Sahgal there are a few more writers who have taken up this unique form of protest to voice their concerns and disapproval against the criminal activity that is being witnessed in a name of safeguarding religious interests. Hindi writer Uday Prakash also returned his Sahitya Akademi award and six Kannada writers returned the Karnataka Government sponsored literary awards.
Sahgal while expressing her disappointment has mentioned that “In all these cases, justice drags its feet. The Prime Minister remains silent about this reign of terror. We must assume he dare not alienate evil-doers who support his ideology. It is a matter of sorrow that the Sahitya Akademi remains silent. “ Indeed the time has come for the Prime Minister to act and all institutions like the Sahitya Akademi to cut out the politics from their core construct.