Returning awards may not be right way to protest: Sangeet Natak Akademi awardees

Returning awards by writers may not be the correct way to agitate against intolerance but they are entitled to decide the way they want to protest, feel dance, drama and music artistes who received Sangeet Natak Akademi awards today.

PTI| Updated: Oct 23, 2015, 23:25 PM IST

New Delhi: Returning awards by writers may not be the correct way to agitate against intolerance but they are entitled to decide the way they want to protest, feel dance, drama and music artistes who received Sangeet Natak Akademi awards today.

Doyen of Indian theatre M S Sathyu and 38 others received the coveted Sangeet Natak Akademi awards from President Pranab Mukherjee today amid raging protest by several writers who have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards over "rising intolerance" in the country.

"I was confused. Akademis are autonomous bodies. It's an insult to those people who selected you for those awards. People who have selected us are experts in their fields. Returning awards is an insult to people who have selected you for the awards," said Sathyu.

Condemning the recent communal killings, he said killings happened earlier also, but such kind of lynching of someone because of suspicion of his food habits did not happen before and it is law which has to act.

"Rationalists are being killed which is a rightist attitude. So that was the confusion. But after consulting people, I decided to accept the award," he said.

At least 35 writers from across the country had over the past few weeks announced their decision to return their Sahitya Akademi awards and stepped down from official Akademi positions to protest the "rising intolerance" in the country.