While condoning the unfortunate lynching of a muslim man, Mohammad Akhlaq, in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has now, in a scathing attack, lambasted the writers who have been returning their Sahitya Akademi awards due to the ‘atmosphere of intolerance in the country’. He was left wondering if the ‘protest’ is a manufactured one.
He wrote on his blog, that there are large number of writers with left or Nehruvian leanings who have been recognised by the Government in the past.
“After the new Government was sworn in May 2014, those who had enjoyed the patronage under the earlier establishment, have obviously been uncomfortable with the present Government. This discomfort has been furthered by another political reality in India,” Jaitley expressed.
In a Facebook post titled, “A manufactured revolt – Politics by other means,” the Union finance minister said, “The death by lynching of a member of minority community at Dadri was extremely unfortunate and condemnable. No right thinking person can ever rationalise and condone such an action. Such incidents bring a bad name to the country.”
“Subsequent to this incident, a series of writers have returned awards conferred on them by the Sahitya Academy. The thrust of the writers’ protest appears to be that under the present central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an atmosphere of intolerance has been created in the country. Is this protest real or a manufactured one? Is this not a case of ideological intolerance?” asked Jaitley.
He said there is no atmosphere of intolerance in the country. “The manufactured revolt is a case of an ideological intolerance towards the BJP.”
Jaitley further added that the protesting writers have struggled hard to find a reason, as rationalist MM Kalburgi was shot dead in Congress-ruled Karnataka. Similarly, the Dadri incident took place in the SP-ruled Uttar Pradesh.
Stating that there is no atmosphere of intolerance in the country, the minister asked how many of these writers protested during the Emergency or against the 1984 Sikh killings, both of which occurred under the Congress rule.