Don't return awards, Deve Gowda urges writers, thinkers

Don't return awards,  Deve Gowda urges writers, thinkers
JD(S) MP and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda on Monday urged writers, leftist thinkers and social activists not to return any awards conferred on them in protest against the killing of a person at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh for eating beef and the murder of Kannada scholar M M Kalburgi recently.

Instead, they should fight together to uphold the secular principles and dignity of democracy, he said.

“Such social conscientiousness is condemnable on the part of the Indian literati. Writers and thinkers should continue protesting against the growing intolerance through other modes instead of returning the awards conferred by the Sahitya Akademi,” he has said in a press statement.

He also urged the State and the Central governments to act immediately and safeguard secularism.

So far, writers Uday Prakash, Nayantara Sehgal, Shashi Deshpande, Ganesh Devy have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards/ resigned from the Akademi to mark their protest.

 Gowda also condemned the act of Shiv Sena workers for smearing the face of columnist Sudheendra Kulkarni on Monday morning. He said the act was against the freedom of speech and essence of democracy.

CM’s appeal
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday appealed to writers and intellectuals not to return the awards conferred on them in protest against raising intolerance in the country.

Speaking to reporters, he said the State government has taken the incident of the killing of Prof M M Kalburgi seriously. The police are probing the case and those responsible for the incident will be arrested soon, he said.

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