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41 writers return Indian award, cite climate of intolerance

Dozens return India's highest literary award to protest growing climate of intolerance

41 writers return Indian award, cite climate of intolerance

NEW DELHI (AP) -- Dozens of writers have returned India's highest literary honor to protest what they call a growing climate of intolerance in the country since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government took office.

The 41 novelists, essayists, playwrights and poets, writing in English as well as regional languages including Hindi and Tamil, have said they cannot remain silent any longer about numerous incidents of communal violence or attacks on intellectuals across the country over the past year.

The writers are also angry that both Modi's government and the Sahitya Akademi, or National Academy of Letters, have said little about the attacks, which include the murder in August of an atheist scholar who had criticized Hindu idol worship and superstition.

India's culture minister dismissed the writers' protests, saying Tuesday, "Let them stop writing."

Updated : 2021-09-19 15:19 GMT+08:00