Hindi writer Giriraj Kishore protested over the decision to invite Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan to the World Hindi Conference being held in Bhopal, stating that "Indian writers and historians were sidelined" for the event.
"Harivansh Rai Bachchan was an author but why was his son Amitabh invited to the event?," the Padma Shri writer asked.
Kishore said that the organisers could have invited the two Padma Shri awardees, who stay in Bhopal to the conference. Many Sahitya Akademi award winners have also not been invited to the conference, he said.
"It is up to the government to decide the invitees, if they consider it as just a government function," Kishore said, adding that he himself has represented India in Hindi conferences held in foreign nations but he was not invited to a conference in his own country.
The writer was awarded Padma Shri in 2007 for chronicling Gandhiji's struggles in South Africa in his book Pahla Girmitiya (The First Indentured Labour).
The Gandhian also objected to Minister of State for External affairs V K Singh's reported comments, "Desh ke lekhak aayenge, khayenge, peeyenge aur paper pad kar chale jayenge" (Indian writers will come, eat and drink, will read the paper and go away).
"The writing community of this country has been insulted by this comment," Kishore added.
The three-day 10th Vishwa Hindi Sammelan was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bhopal today.
Representatives from 40 countries are in the city to attend the conference, which Modi described as being the 'Maha Kumbh' of Hindi.