Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy has said in a statement today, Nov 5, 2015, that she will return her National Award over increasing intolerance in India.
Roy wrote in the Indian Express column, that she is returning her Award that she got for Best Screenplay for the movie “In Which Annie Gives it those” in 1989, in protest of the recent “horrific murders” that are “only a symptom of a deeper malaise”.
Roy, Kundan Shah of “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro” and Saeed Mirza along with 22 others who got the National Awards have announced to return their awards.
The decision was announced in a press conference on Thursday. These people also sent a detailed letter to the India President.
The other people who announced to return the awards are:
Filmmaker Anwar Jamal
Sound designers Vivek Sachidanand, P M Satheesh and Ajay Raina
Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti
Editor Irene Dhar Malik
Cinematographer Satya Rai Nagpaul
Filmmaker Tapan Bose and Madhusree Dutta.
Roy wrote, “First of all, ‘intolerance’ is the wrong word to use for the lynching, shooting, burning and mass murder of fellow human beings,”
She added; “Life is hell for the living too. Whole populations — millions of Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and Christians — are being forced to live in terror, unsure of when and from where the assault will come.”
In October 2015, a Muslim youth from Dadri in Uttar Pradesh was beaten to death after rumours that he had stored excessive beef in his house.
“Today, we live in a country in which, when the thugs and apparatchiks of the New Order talk of ‘illegal slaughter’, they mean the imaginary cow that was killed – not the real man who was murdered,” Roy adds.