Questioning the writers who have returned the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award in the backdrop of murder of a Kannada writer and communal violence, Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma said ‘it will never serve the purpose’.
“Why are they returning their awards? Are they feeling distressed over the death of a person? We all are aggrieved. What will they prove by doing this? How returning of Sahitya Akademi or any other award will serve their purpose?” Sharma told HT.
He asked the writers to understand the incidents before taking any decision and not blame the Centre for every communal conflict.
“If they (writers) are not happy with certain things, they can talk to the government. They can ask questions related to the incidents and responsibility and role of the Centre. They can also write directly to the prime minister or the union home minister and they will certainly get the answers,” he said.
He also suggested the writers who are planning to return their Sahitya Akademi Awards to ask questions to the state governments where such incidents have occurred.
“They (writers) must understand that Centre and the BJP has nothing to do with communal tensions in Dadri or anywhere else in UP. This is an entirely state government related issue. The law and order of any state comes under the respective chief minister and not under the central government. Why are they blaming Centre for this?” he said.
Sharma, who is also the Member of Parliament from Gautam Budh Nagar district, where a 55-year-old man was lynched and his son was critically injured on allegations of cow slaughter on September 28, maintained that neither returning of awards nor such incidents will make an impact on Bihar Assembly elections.
“Bihar has its own problems. The voter will elect the person who will address their problems not the issues related to other states,” Sharma added.
Following the murder of Kannada writer MM Kalburgi and lynching of a man in Dadri, 22 writers have returned their Sahitya Akademi Awards to the government while one theatre artiste, Maya Krishna Rao, has returned her Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.