Renowned actor and playwright Girish Karnad has resigned from Goa's Golden Jubilee Development Council expressing shock over state government's silence on the saffron attacks on the paintings of a Sanskrit scholar and artist Jose Pereira.
Pereira's paintings were targetted by right wing Hindu organisation - Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, after they allegedly portrayed disrobed 'Shiva' and 'Krishna'. His exhibition was called off last month after the group protested at Xavier Centre of Historical Research here terming his works as "objectionable".
Karnad, in a letter to Goa Chief Minister Digamber Kamat on August 12, said, "Let me say how deeply shocked I am to hear of the attacks by self-styled standard-bearers of Hindu culture on the works of Jose Pereira, a scholar and artist of eminence."
Karnad, who was appointed as a member of the high-level committee led by scientist Dr Raghunath Mashelkar said he was appalled over government's silence on the attack on the freedom of expression of a painter.
"I am horrified that private vigilante groups should be permitted to take the law into their hands while the state stands mute and the police express inability to protect the exhibition of his work," he said.
"I should like to withdraw my name from the High Level Committee which you were kind enough to invite me to serve on since this is not the culture of liberation I had hoped to celebrate," he further said.
The Goa government recently constituted the Council to formulate a vision document for the state on the eve of the 50th anniversary of its liberation.