The Hindu

Devanur to return Padma award

- SPECIAL CORRESPOND­ENT

MYSURU: Well-known Dalit writer and political activist Devanur Mahadeva joined the list of litterateu­rs protesting the “climate of growing intoleranc­e” in the country on Saturday by announcing his decision to return the Padma Shree and the Kendra Sahitya Academy awards.

“Symbolic protest”

He described his decision as a “symbolic protest” against the failure of the Government to uphold freedom of speech and principles of social justice which were the corner stones of the freedom struggle. It was the failure to understand this that had led to incidents like Dadri lynching being “brushed aside as State issues by senior leaders at the Centre”, he said.

Groups indulging in violence, he went on to say, were emboldened by the feeling that those whom it voted to power are now in power and can escape with “their blessings.”

Making an oblique reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as someone who rose with support from such groups, he said: “It appears as though history, having placed a huge challenge before our present prime minister, is watching him with a little smile on its face.”

Only if the Central Government introspect­s on these developmen­ts will it be able to provide governance, he added.

The writer, incidental­ly, is the first public intellectu­al to return award post Bihar polls.

 ??  ?? Devanur Mahadeva is the first public intellectu­al to return the award after Bihar polls.
Devanur Mahadeva is the first public intellectu­al to return the award after Bihar polls.

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