Bhopal, Oct 12: Noted Hindi poet Rajesh Joshi here on Monday announced he had returned his Sahitya Akademi award in protest against the attacks on the freedom of speech and expression in the country. He was conferred the award in 2002.
"The government is keeping mum on writers' murders. On one hand the intolerance is on the rise in the country, on the other hand attacks are being perpetrated on the freedom of speech and expression," Joshi told IANS on Monday.
"The behaviour of the government following Dadri lynching (in Uttar Pradesh) reflects that the country is heading towards fascism," he added.
A number of Sahitya Akademi recipients have returned their coveted awards recently since 77-year-old Kannada rationalist and thinker M.M. Kalburgi was shot dead on August 30 by two unidentified assailants at his residence in Dharwad, about 430 km from Bengaluru in Karnataka.