Kids Corner


The So-Called Intellectuals Of India
Newfound Courage For Old Cowards?







Expressing anguish against writers returning their awards over the “climate of intolerance” in the country, a group of protesters on Friday, October 30, 2015,  burnt books questioning the authors’ silence on the 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms.

The protesters led by Gurcharan Singh Babbar, who had written a book on the 1984 massacres titled ‘Sarkaari Qatl-e-aam‘ (Genocide By The State), burnt over 500 copies of the book at Jantar Mantar here registering their anger and frustration against the delay in justice in the pending cases of the 1984 genocide.

“We want to question the [intellectuals] who are returning their awards in protest against the climate of intolerance in the society, that where were they for the past 32 years? Why a similar civil outrage was not witnessed when the 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms shook the nation and the victims have been denied justice till this day?” Gurcharan Singh said.

His book which is an account of the genocide, available in four languages -- Hindi, English, Punjabi and Urdu -- was banned in 1998 after a Hindu petitioner, Suresh Chauhan, went to a local court saying the work had abused the judiciary, hurt feelings of many people and could trigger fresh massacres.

The ban was, however, lifted later.

“Nothing concrete has happened so far on the anti-1984 genocide. Committee after committee and promises after promises, the accused being given clean chits and much more drama has happened since then, but no justice has been done. Why didn’t these [intellectuals] question the intolerance atmosphere then,” he said.

Police tried to douse the fire and detained few of the protesters.

At least 36 writers including leading names like Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi, Uday Prakash and K Veerabhadrappa have recently returned their Sahitya Akademi awards, and five writers stepped down from official positions of the literary body, protesting against its “silence” over “rising intolerance”.

They have been joined by filmmakers, historians and scientists who too have jumped on the bandwagon and returned their awards.

[Edited for]

November 2, 2015

Conversation about this article

1: Rup Singh (Canada), November 02, 2015, 4:18 PM.

Very fitting headline. Perhaps their silence in the past to voice up for minorities was due to the fear of the very same mobs that killed thousands of innocents. Is it some guilt they have or is this just the hip thing to do because it's 2015? It would be an interesting stat to know how many awardees received them from the Congress.

2: GJ Singh (India), November 03, 2015, 5:53 AM.

Bloody, gutless hypocrites! All of them Congress ass-kissers who got the awards for toeing in line with the Congress policy. Maybe Modi and Jaitley are right. It is a manufactured dissent by the Congressi lovers.

3: Harnam Kaur (Patiala, Punjab), November 03, 2015, 6:38 AM.

This is the classic outcome when the whole room is full of criminals: each blames another, all blame each other, as if the universality of the criminality absolves any of them. This country is now corrupt to the core.

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Newfound Courage For Old Cowards?"

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