Aligarh: With several eminent writers returning their prestigious Sahitya Akademi award to protest the growing atmosphere of intolerance in the country, a Hindu religious group had performed a 'Buddhi Shuddhi' yagya in a bid to "knock some sense" into the winners of those honours.
According to a report published in 'The Times of India', the 'buddhi shuddhi' (cleansing the mind) yagya was performed by the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha here on Sunday morning seeking divine intervention in the case of these writers.
"Buddhi Shuddhi yagya was conducted so that divine powers restore some sense to our so-called intellectuals who are returning awards. This gesture is bringing shame upon the whole nation. They are guilty of desh droh (being traitors)," said national secretary Pooja Shakun Pandey of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha was quoted as saying.
She stated that the yagya was meant to ensure that acts that threaten national integration do not happen with impunity.
Over 40 winners of the Sahitya Akademi award have so far returned their awards, protesting the murders of rationalist Narendra Dabolkar in Maharashtra and Kannada writer MM Kalburgi, and the intolerance that led to the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri by a mob that suspected he had eaten beef and stored the meat in his refrigerator.
Prominent among those are GN Devy, Aman Sethi, Munawwar Rana, Earlier, noted Kannada author Aravind Malagatti had resigned from the Sahitya Akademi's Common Council.
On the night of September 28, 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched by a mob at his house at Bisara village near Dadri in Uttar Pradesh over rumours that his family consumed beef.