Devanur to return Padma award
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.
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.