The litterateurs said that they were giving up their awards to protest against the killings of writers MM Kalburgi
Raising their voice against rising intolerance and suppressing freedom of expression, four eminent Punjabi writers on Sunday announced that they were returning the Sahitya Akademi Awards conferred on them, IANS reported.
The writers who announced giving up their literary awards included Ajmer Singh Aulakh, Atamjit Singh, Gurbachan Bhullar and Canada-based writer Waryam Sandhu.
The litterateurs said that they were giving up their awards to protest against the killings of writers MM Kalburgi in Karnataka in August this year and Narendra Dabholkar in 2013, stressing that they were shocked at the level of intolerance on freedom of speech and expression.
They pointed out that free speech and writing was being suppressed under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They also said that the recent lynching of a Muslim man on suspicion of eating beef showed that a communal atmosphere was being built up.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2015.