Rajya Sabha member Tulsi supports artistes returning awards

New Delhi, Nov 30 (IANS) Rajya Sabha member K.T.S. Tulsi on Monday said he was “terribly disappointed” with the political shades given to the issue of intolerance, as all they were doing was a symbolic protest in the form of returning awards.

“I am terribly disappointed with the political stance given by the government to the Satyagraha by artistes, poets, scientists, historians against intolerance,” the eminent lawyer said during a discussion on ‘Commitment to the Constitution’ being held in parliament as part of the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

“I thought the government would like to reinforce with full vigour the idea of India and say that physical violence can never be an answer to contrary opinion. But nothing of the sort happened,” Tulsi said.

“I don’t know why we don’t understand that a few incidents did create a sense of fear among the sensitive artistes, the sensitive souls which are artistes etc.,” he said.

“All artistes can do is to make a symbolic protest. And that symbolic protest is in the form of return of awards.”

“These awards are earned by them with their sweat and tears… these are dearer to these people than their children. They are the highest point of their life and if they are returning it, instead of understanding their pain and anguish, healing their wounds and addressing their fears, a political twist is given by saying this is a manufactured rebellion,” he said.

He said the government has failed to realise that “there is always a tipping point”, and in this case, “perhaps it arrived when a person on a mere rumour was killed in the most brutal fashion in his own house”, referring to the lynching of 50-year-old Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri on the outskirts of Delhi, over rumours that he ate beef.

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