Terming the present situation even worse than Emergency noted litterateur Rajesh Joshi announced returning of his Sahitya Akademi Award in Bhopal on Monday to lodge his protest against what he said growing religious intolerance and elimination of those who wish to speak.
Talking to the Hindustan Times Joshi made an appeal to senior BJP leaders LK Advani and MM Joshi to follow the act of late Jagjivan Ram who had protested against Emergency and left his party he had been associated for decades.
Rajesh Joshi who is a poet and writer said during Emergency people were jailed but now people were being killed. It was fascism and nothing else.
Kannada rationalist MM Kalburgi was killed sometime back. Earlier, Dabhol was murdered. There has been Dadri lynching.
There was a Member of Parliament who wanted India to be declared as a Hindu Rashtra. This was despite the fact he had taken oath to protect Constitution. Sudhindra Kulkarni’s face was blackened in a programme.
What kind of situation is this? What kind of country they are making? asked Joshi with anger in his voice attacking the BJP government at the Centre.
He said senior BJP leader LK Advani himself had said sometime back that the country witnessed Emergency like situation. But the situation was even worse.
“The leaders like LK Advani and MM Joshi must follow the act of late Jagjivan Ram who didn’t compromise with his principles and left the Congress in protest when Emergency was promulgated despite his association with the party for decades. Those in BJP who don’t approve such a situation should come out with a strong voice otherwise history would not forgive them”, Joshi said.
Joshi said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who kept on speaking on some issue or the other shouldn’t remain silent.
He must speak on the issues of religious intolerance and these killings and incidents. The incidents had sent out a message that it was the government which was stoking a communal passion in a bid to divert people’s attention from its failure as it had not been able to do anything in the past one and a half years.
Joshi said the writers were talking to one another and soon there would be a massive protest on the issue in Delhi.