Over 400 artistes condemn attacks on writers

New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) Over 400 Indian artistes on Tuesday condemned the attacks on writers in India and expressed concern over the alarming rise in intolerance in the country.

The artistes, including those from the visual arts such as Anjolie Ela Menon, Anita Dube, Sudhir Patwardhan, gathered at the Safar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) premises here.

SAHMAT co-founder Vivan Sundaram said the present central government wanted to bring in its own ideologies.

“The attacks on writers are not a new issue. It very much existed during the previous NDA government also. But things have changed now. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a softer and mellow prime minister. Narendra Modi is more aggressive but his silence on such incidents is giving power to the hate-mongers,” he added.

“M.F. Hussain was hounded out of the country and he died in exile. But now, we have to rise against such treatment towards artists and writers,” he added.

Artist Anita Dubey too criticised the Narendra Modi government for the rising cases of attacks on writers.

“I feel this government is trying to tell us what Hinduism is all about. The definition of Hindusim is very different from what we are trying to be taught. They want to re-engineer the whole society according to one ideology,” Anita said.

“With the writers rejecting awards, the time to remain silent is over,” she added.

In September, Hindi writer Uday Prakash returned the Sahitya Akademi award, following which other writers across the country returned their awards to protest against the “indifference” over the murder of writers like M.M. Kalburgi.

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