September 23, 2015

India: BJP wants Karnataka Sahitya Academy lifetime achievement award for writer K.S.Bhagwan withdrawn

The Hindu, Bengaluru, September 23, 2015

BJP wants lifetime award for Bhagwan withdrawn

Karnataka Bureau

Karnataka parties at war over award for writer

With the Bharatiya Janata Party State unit openly supporting the demand for withdrawal of the Karnataka Sahitya Academy lifetime achievement award 2013 for noted writer K.S. Bhagwan, the controversy, so far restricted to threats and protests from fringe groups, escalated into a full blown Congress versus BJP battle on Tuesday.

Former Minister C.T. Ravi, BJP MLA, on Tuesday criticised the government for granting award to Prof. Bhagwan, who had created a furore in the State after he criticised the Bhagavad Gita and questioned religious practices and beliefs.

The writer has been given the award for his constant attacks on Hindu epics and culture, claimed Mr. Ravi and alleged that the Siddaramiah government had been rewarding people who hurt the sentiments of the majority community.

However, the Congress was quick to hit back, and V.S. Ugrappa, MLC, said the BJP leaders instead of raising their voices against RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s call for a reservation review, have been opposing the award to Prof. Bhagwan, for no reason.“Nobody has given the right to BJP leaders to safeguard Hindus and the Hindu philosophy. We are also Hindus. Why BJP is silent on the RSS chief’s comment on quota. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should clear the government’s stand on the issue,” Mr. Ugrappa said.

Meanwhile, sending out a categorical message, Karnataka Sahitya Academy chairperson Malathi Pattanshetti reiterated that “There is no question of withdrawing the award either fearing attack by miscreants or statements of any party”. She added that the Academy was “confident that the government will not interfere in the affairs of the Academy and of having done the right thing”