New Delhi, Oct 19: Trying to give message that returning prestigious awards will bring bad name to country, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha on Sunday performed a 'Buddhi Shuddhi' (cleansing the mind) yagya. The Yagya was observed apparently to 'knock sense' to authors who are holding Modi government responsible for growing atmosphere of intolerance within the country.
National secretary Pooja Shakun Pandey of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha was quoted by TOI as saying, "Buddhi Shuddhi yagya was conducted so that divine powers restore some sense to our so-called intellectuals who are returning awards. This gesture is bringing shame upon the whole nation. They are guilty of desh droh (being traitors)".
Pooja Pandey further said that said the yagya was meant to prevent the outrageous act of author.
Earlier, Urdu poet Munawwar Rana joined over 30 authors who have returned Sahitya Akademi award while Hindi writer Kashinath said he was handing over the honour in protest against "irresponsible" comments by various ministers on writers who have been agitating against "rising intolerance".
Participating in a televised debate with other writers and politicians, Rana, a big name in contemporary Urdu poetry, said he had decided to return the award because he was dismayed over the recent developments in the country.
"I am returning the Sahitya Akademi award. I won't accept any award from the government in the future," he said.
"I come from Rae Bareli, politics runs through the street drains in my city but I never cared for it," the 62-year-old poet, who was awarded the Sahitya Akademi in 2014 for his book 'Shahdaba', said.
"Writers and litterateurs have been associated with one party or the other. Some are said to be linked with Congress while others with BJP.
"I am a Muslim and some may label me as a Pakistani. Many areas in this country are not linked with electricity but Muslims here are linked to Dawood Ibrahim," the poet said.
(With inputs from PTI)