“India is being unmade, being destroyed”: Nayantara Sahgal


NewsGram Staff Writer

Condemning the Dadri lynching, noted writer Nayantara Sahgal returned the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in protest against what she called the “vanishing space” for diversity.

Sahgal, the niece of the former Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, also said people were being “killed for not agreeing with the ruling ideology.”

She referred to the recent killings of rationalists and writers MM Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare and of Dadri resident Mohammad Akhlaq, who was lynched on suspicion of consuming beef and said, “…in this rising tide of hatred, India is being unmade, being destroyed.”

Claiming that she was anxious at the situation in the country, she said, it seemed to be getting “worse and worse” in the past 15 months. “I guess the death of this poor man in Dadri (Mohammad Akhlaq) was the final…the last straw,” she said.

Questioning Prime Minister’s silence over the issues, she said, “in all these cases, justice drags its feet. The Prime Minister remains silent on this reign of terror. We must assume he dare not alienate evil-doers who support his ideology.”

Denying that her decision stems from her political beliefs, Sahgal said, “I am not against any political party. India is a democracy, and in democracies every party has a right to be in power, but what we are seeing in India today is fascism. There is a vanishing space for diversity to the extent people are being killed for not agreeing with the ruling ideology.”

Sahgal famously criticised her cousin, Indira Gandhi, for actions during the Emergency in 1975.

(With inputs from The Hindu)