By David Barstow and Suhasini Raj
The novelist Nayantara Sahgal said she was returning India’s highest literary honor to express sympathy for “all dissenters who now live in fear and uncertainty.” G. S. Bhullar, a short-story author, said he was giving back the same award to protest the “violent retrogressive forces dictating terms in the field of literature and culture.” Mandakranta Sen, a Bengali poet, said she was sending her award back to protest “attacks on rationalists.”
In the last month, 35 leading Indian authors and poets have returned coveted awards from the National Academy of Letters in a collective revolt against what Salman Rushdie this week called the “thuggish violence” creeping into Indian life under the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The writers’ revolt, which began in September after a 76-year-old critic of Hindu idolatry was gunned down in his home, rapidly gained strength this month when Mr. Modi failed to promptly condemn the killing of a Muslim man,Mohammed Ikhlaq, by a Hindu mob because they suspected he had killed a cow and eaten its meat.
Read the full article by clicking the name of the source below.