Voices of independent expressions cannot be stifled: Gopalkrishna Gandhi

By: | Published: October 10, 2015 10:01 PM

Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi today welcomed the protests by eminent writers over the killing of three rationalists and said "voices of independent expressions cannot be stifled" in the country through physical violence.

Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi today welcomed the protests by eminent writers over the killing of three rationalists and said “voices of independent expressions cannot be stifled” in the country through physical violence.

Describing the returning of the Sahitya Akademi award by well known writers like Nayantara Sahgal and resignation of Shashi Deshpande from the Akademi as ‘extraordinary examples’ and ‘landmark steps’, he said people of the country cannot be taken for granted.

Delivering the K C John Memorial lecture, organised as part of the Kovalam Literary Fest, here, Gandhi said “what these writers have done is that the voices of independent expression, shall we say dissent, cannot be stifled, last of all, least of all.. through sheer physical violence.”

“We do not know the circumstances that led to the murder in cold blood of three rationalists ending with murder similarly of a person who could not claim to be anything and would not have been known beyond his village or thasil. But for the fact that he was killed in a way that linked his murder to the pattern of deaths by violence of these rationalists”.

“This is to say that it ‘it was a stilling of a different voice, a different way, a different faith and a different kind of food”, the former diplomat said.

“In India, nobody can trifle with this kind of fundamental rights. Nobody can take the people of India for granted and the writers, who are meant to live in the world of words, phrases, vocabulary, have shown that they can also be men and women of action,” he said.

The example set by Nayantara Sahgal in returning her Sahitiya Akademi award and so quickly followed by similar steps by others and the resignation of Shashi Deshpande from the Akademi were ‘hope-giving’ developments in the last few days, Gandhi said.

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