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#AwardWapsee: A farce in a wrapper of intellectual responsibility


Where the son, who is serving in Indian Air Force, of a man who was killed by a Hindu mob says that he, still believes that Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindosita Hamara and three Hindus tried to save that man's family,  where a muslim women gives birth inside the Ganesh temple and some Hindus help her and she name the newborn baby 'Ganesh' and where a sikh uses his holy turban to save the people from drowning is the land of religious unity and tolerant society. Some unfortunate incidents happens and they must be condemned but these few hatemongers can't make my country intolerant. 

Returning an award is, seems to me, a new trend in a market these days. Many intellectuals in the society are returning their awards, as according to them there is an atmosphere of total intolerance in India, everybody's busy in aggressively commenting on each other's social identity, the right wings fundamentalists are highly polarizing the Indian community on the basis of religion. To prove this they are giving examples of incidents happened in the period of last 2-3 months like the murder of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and MM Kalburgi, blackening of Sudheendra Kulkarni's face allegedly by Shiv Sena cadres, apolitical party which is in coalition with the BJP in the center and in Maharashtra as well, for organizing a book launch event of Pakistani politician Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Protest against Pakistani artists, recent cases of killing of Dalits and the brutal killing of 52 year old man Mohammad Akhlaq Saifi in Dadri, UP by a mob on just a suspicion that he had kept beef at his home. Beef is also one of the debated issues nowadays and that is also one of the reasons why these intellectual feel to return their awards as a protest to the government as according to them the government of India has totally failed in solving these problems which are growing day-by-day in the society and proving harmful for India's tolerant democracy.

Okay, let me say that I don't wanna make this political and I'm not at all saying that there are some political factors behind this protests by the intellectuals in our country in various professions. I. also, don't want to say that these incidents happen all over the world and why are you people not returning it as a protest for that. I, truly, respect their constitutional right to speak and state their views on any issue which is growing in our country today. They can surely protest with whichever medium they wanna choose and slam the government on anything which they feel is wrong and condemnable. Why they are returning awards to this government as they've got it from the previous government is I think, again a useless question as, I think, in a democracy a political party vanishes from the power not the government. Previously there was UPA in power now there is NDA but they can't just hold the power and say that we are not going to agree with the initiatives of previous government on any front and start their own. Government shall always be there, political parties win elections and take the 5-year charge. As long as these people are returning their awards to the government, as an organization and not as a political party, then, I think, it's purely valid. It's an insult of these intellectual to ask them whether they've returned the prize money which they got with the award while returning it. It shouldn't be ask by anybody as many of these people have returned their awards with the prize money and with some of their personal donations as a help for the government and have asked the government to use it for public welfare.

But my problem is why today?? Why these people feel that today is the situation, when India has become completely intolerant and the freedom of speech is at imminent danger. See, since Independence (We're talking India, as an independent nation), many unfortunate incidents have happened. There was lot of intolerance in the nation in previous times as well. There are various examples can be given. In 1992, Babri mosque demolished by Hindu fundamentalists and after that we can say terrorist activities started in India. Before that as well, In 1948, after the 1947 Hindu-Muslim riots took place on the issue of partition, Mahatma Gandhi murdered by again an Hindu fundamentalists and as a reaction of it many residences of especially Brahmins in Maharashtra, have burnt. Many were killed as well. After that Emergency took place, Operation Blue Star performed, Indira Gandhi got murdered, Anti Sikh riots happened and many Sikhs were killed as a reaction of Indira Gandhi assassination. Kashmiri Pandits exodus took place, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. After Babri, riots erupted in Mumbai and many Muslims and Hindus died at it. Since 1995 various terrorists attacks have taken place in India. Both Hindu and Muslims radicals were involved in those incidents. Khairlanji in Maharashtra took place. Many other incidents have also happened but, except few, nobody came forward as today and returned there awards as a protest to the then governments. Everybody was silent at that times. Many would say that we were not awarded at most of the time and today as we got an opportunity to speak against violence we are returning it as a protest. These people surely are the exceptions but what about those who got the awards before the incidents and were silent many times and protesting today. This behavior of those shows that they are not ready to digest the fact that the government which is not of their own ideology has elected by the people of India and they are in power today.

And what they will get by doing this is, again, a question of debate as Sahitya Akademi has already cleared they though they are returning the awards and cheques, we are not accepting it as we can't do that. Now many intellectuals would feel that they've done their duty but, I'm sorry, it's in complete vain and nobody would care about it. Naseeruddin Shah said on this issue that though he's against the behavior of Hindu fundamentalists towards Pakistan and Muslims, he won't be returning any award as these awards don't matter to him at all. Instead he would speak through his work and would be acting in a play or a movie and would speak against this intolerance. I think Naseeruddin Shah has made a point here that if we are against the government we should be protesting though our work and have to speak through our profession. Many writers in this lot could have written articles on the issue and their one article might have been taken as an exceptional effort in raising a voice against the government.

Today, the people who call themselves liberals and seculars, it is unfortunate, but aren't ready to listen what others are saying. If we say something good about say Savarkar, this might become the issue of national debate they would say how one can say good about Savarkar as he was the maker of Hindutwa, of course according to these liberals. Sheshrao More has put this incredibly well after the attack of these secularists on him. Secularists of this country needs to understand, it's because of this habit of their's the whole right have got elected and now they are in the position where their voice can be listened on a larger scale. I agree is something has truly wrong with India today but this is not the problem will solve. We need to go to the root of it and then attack.

Where the son, who is serving in Indian Air Force, of a man who was killed by a Hindu mob says that he, still believes that Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindosita Hamara and three Hindus tried to save that man's family,  where a muslim women gives birth inside the Ganesh temple and some Hindus help her and she name the newborn baby 'Ganesh' and where a sikh uses his holy turban to save the people from drowning is the land of religious unity and tolerant society. Some unfortunate incidents happens and they must be condemned but these few hatemongers can't make my country intolerant. 

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