Fumed by writers, filmmakers and scientists returning their awards as a protest against growing intolerance in the nation, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) joint secretary, Dattatreya Hosabale, said they are ‘desperate and frustrated’.
Speaking on the sidelines of three-day national executive meet of RSS at Ranchi, Hosabale said:
“The RSS is not a punching bag for the so-called pseudo secular intolerant people.”
He added that the so-called liberal, pseudo-secular section of the intelligentsia had purposely started the debate on intolerance even when there’s no such threat in the country.
Hosabale added, “They could not stomach the change in the country, the change towards nationalism.”
Questioning their true intentions, he asked why did writers not return their awards in past when communal incidents like killings of Kashmiri Pandits and Karsevaks in Gujarat happened.
Till now, around 40 writers have returned their Sahitya Akademi Award and several have resigned from their posts over murders of three prominent rationalist authors this year.
Following that, 10 prominent filmmakers have returned their National Awards and more than 50 noted historians strongly spoke against PM Narendra Modi for keeping mum.
Also, the Inter-Academy Panel on Ethics in Science (IAPES), the body of Indian scientists, wrote to the government demanding ‘exemplary punishment to trespassers of reason‘.
But, Vidya Balan, Anupam Kher and Shyam Benegal, criticised the people who returned their awards.
Renowned music conductor Zubin Mehta too joined in the controversy but said that protesting writers and artists should hold talks with the government.
Citing that, Hosabale said the ‘gang of writers, filmmakers and historians’ cannot consider themselves as the sole guardians of tolerance.
He further clarified that RSS has condemned the incidents of communal violence saying it would never approve of setting fire to homes and killing people.