Jaitley criticises writers returning Sahitya Akademi awards

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New Delhi, Oct 15: Union Finance MInister Arun Jaitely has criticised the writers who have been returning the Sahitya Akademi awards citing atmosphere of intolerance in the country over Dadri lynching incident.

Taking to Facebook, Jaitely wrote on a blog that the death by lynching of a member of minority community at Dadri was extremely unfortunate and condemnable. No right thinking person can ever rationalise and condone such an action. Such incidents bring a bad name to the country.

“Subsequent to this incident, a series of writers have returned awards conferred on them by the Sahitya Academy. The thrust of the writers’ protest appears to be that under the present Central Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an atmosphere of intolerance has been created in the country”.

He said that several writers with Left or Nehruvian leaning have been recognised by the Government in the past.

“Is this protest real or a manufactured one? Is this not a case of ideological intolerance? There are large number of writers with left or Nehruvian leaning who have been recognised by the Government in the past. Some of them may have been entitled to this recognition. I am neither questioning their academic merits nor their right to have political prejudices. Many of them have spoken out against the present Prime Minister even when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat. After the new Government was sworn in May, 2014, those who had enjoyed the patronage under the earlier establishment, have obviously been uncomfortable with the present Government. This discomfort has been furthered by another political reality in India”, he wrote.

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