Writers from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, and Gujarat, who returned their national awards in protest against growing religious intolerance in the country, gave clarification on Friday in Dharwad that their act was symbolic and not politically motivated.
They said that they were non-political and they opposed the Emergency too, countering allegations that returning the awards benefited from the previous Congress-led governments.
Writers G.N. Devy and Anil Joshi from Gujarat, Rahimat Tarikere, K. Neela and others spoke on why they chose to return the awards.
Showing disagree from the charges that they were selective in opposing fundamentalism and intolerance, they said that just because the writers had not returned their awards earlier did not mean that they should keep quiet now.
They also added that it is the duty of the writers, artistes, film-makers and other responsible citizens of society to register their protest on such occasions.
Mr. Anil Joshi clarified that they had not lowered the dignity and prestige of the country by returning the awards.