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“One does not expect this from our general public at any rate. I don’t anticipate that such things will happen in India. One used to hear such things happening in some other society, not our own. One does not feel pleased with what is going on here,” said Akhtar.
The lyricist turned out in backing of individual Sahitya Akademi award winner Nayantara Sahgal’s choice to give back her grant in protest against rising “bigotry”. Sahgal, who had gotten the Sahitya Akademi honor in 1986 for her English novel ‘Rich Like Us (1985)’, gave back her recompense saying, “The ruling ideology today is a rightist belief system and that is what is stressing me now. We didn’t have a rightist government up to this point… I am doing whatever I have faith in.”
Akhtar said, “I can comprehend her desolation. She originates from a convention of secularism and better values and when she feels this thing, she must be exceptionally tormented. It is a challenge however I think a great deal more must be done in the general public in light of the fact that whatever is going on now-a-days, is not attractive by any stretch of the imagination,” Akhtar said.
The Urdu writer spoke with the PTI on the book’s launch ‘Pigeons of the Domes’ by noted writer and interpreter Rakhshanda Jalil here last night. The book was launched by Akhtar and Jawhar Sircar, Chief Executive Officer of Prasar Bharati. “The scholars ought to really impart and compose more and they ought to see to it that compositions ought to achieve individuals. Why should I say whether she ought to have done it or not but rather the truth of the matter is that this is additionally a dissent and draws consideration and makes individuals think why she has done it,” he said.
The book is an compilation of 19 short stories by different Hindi and Urdu writers and incorporates stories on Hindu-Muslim relations, the mass migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley, “minimization” of Hindus in Punjab and the abuse of Sikhs in the 1984 hostile to Sikh riots.