Noted writer and poet Ashok Vajpeyi on Friday said liberal democratic spirit was under assault in India, but said it was a global phenomena.
“I think the world over the liberal democratic spirit is under assault... it is not merely a phenomena in India, with what’s happening in Europe, in Africa and in United States, Latin America,” Vajpeyi said addressing the Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF) 2017 which began here.
So, its a growing phenomena where the idea of the liberal itself is now being put into “question”, said the eminent Hindi poet, who had last year returned his Sahitya Akademi award.
Stating that there is violence of every kind including murders, rapes, abductions, physical assaults at social, personal, domestic and academic levels, Vajpeyi said, “there is violence against writers, intellectuals. There was violence against writers all along but they were not murdered. And three of them were murdered just because they had their view with which the murderers did not agree”.
He further said there was violence against dissenters, information seekers, violence against women, minorities, Christians, Dalits, Adivasis and alleged ”sadly more often than not, the state is watching mutely or is complicit in these acts of violence”.
Vajpeyi was among the writers who had returned their awards last year to the Sahitya Akademi in protest against the literary body’s silence on attack on rationalists such as MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.
According to Vajpeyi, backward, regressive, reactionary ideas were being promoted in a big way in the country and technology can be used for spreading regressive, reactionary, anti-social anti-human ideas.
He further alleged, ”Our Institutions in India specially cultural and educational institutions -- our higher education has collapsed... our capacity to destroy seems to have become several fold as against our capacity to create.
“All wars are fought..more or less to demolish the ’others’... whoever that other be... They could be your linguistic others, religious others, caste others, ideological others all kinds of others.
All the wars that are taking place in the world today they are aimed at demolishing the ‘other’ whereas the Indian traditional wisdom was that there is no ‘other’...actually what we think as ‘others’ are part of us,“ he added.
Vajpeyi said literature offers truth which is participative. “You are part of the creation of that truth... that’s what literature does”.