Writers condemn assault on Dalit activist

Writers condemn assault on Dalit activist

A literary body comprising leading writers Nayantara Sahgal, K Satchidanandan and Romila Thapar among others today strongly condemning the attack on Dalit writer-activist Huchangi Prasad for his "anti-Hindu" writings.

"The Indian Writers' Forum strongly condemns the attack on a young Dalit writer, Huchangi Prasad, for his writings against the caste system," it said.

Prasad, a 23-year-old journalism student in Davanagere, Karnataka and author of a book 'Odala Kichchu' which speaks against the caste system, alleged that he was assaulted on Wednesday and was threatened that his fingers would be cut for writing against Hinduism.

"If this is how disagreement is to be expressed, how can we call India a democracy? The recent writers' protests, and the setting up of a forum that will support all writers and other cultural practitioners, is precisely to resist such attempt to muzzle the voices of all writers, whichever community or region they come from, and whichever language they write in," the statement said.

Prasad alleged that on October 21 night, "a group of eight to nine persons came to SC/ST hostel where I reside and told me that my mother was unwell."

"Worried I followed them. They took me to a place and started threatening and assaulting me for writing against Hinduism and caste system," he told PTI.

Prasad said he received some minor injuries in the attack, adding, "They (the attackers) said I'm born as Dalit, because of sins I had committed in my previous life."

A case has been registered against unidentified persons in this regard. Police said they are on a lookout for the suspects.

Indian Writers' Forum's statement signed by Githa Hariharan, Satchidanandan, Thapar and Sahgal said, "It's a sign of hope that Prasad has said categorically that he will continue to write. The Forum, and all citizens of conscience, salute him."

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