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Artiste should be known for work, not for returning award: Prasoon Joshi

Lyricist and adman Prasoon Joshi has come out against writers returning their awards to protest what they call rising intolerance in the country.

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Updated: Oct 21, 2015, 10.34 AM IST
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Lyricist and adman Prasoon Joshi has come out against writers returning their awards to protest what they call rising intolerance in the country.
Lyricist and adman Prasoon Joshi has come out against writers returning their awards to protest what they call rising intolerance in the country.
(This story originally appeared in on Oct 21, 2015)
NEW DELHI: Lyricist and adman Prasoon Joshi has come out against writers returning their awards to protest what they call rising intolerance in the country.

"That there is politics over literary recognitions is a matter of pain," Joshi said in a statement. "An artiste should be known for his work and not for returning awards," the lyricist said in a comment which comes amid a debate over whether writers are justified in returning the awards they received from Sahitya Akademi and other bodies.

"It will be more dignified if a litterateur expresses herself through her creation," Joshi said.

The writers who have returned their awards have explained that they were compelled to do so because of the rising threat to freedom of expression. However, many in the BJP and the government have dismissed their protest as "manufactured", alleging that the very set of writers did not stir when democracy was suspended and fundamental rights crushed during Emergency or when Sikhs were slaughtered in 1984 under Congress's watch.

When contacted, Joshi said he issued the statement because he was feeling uncomfortable about the political dimension that the protest had acquired. "There is something unsettling about it. A writer is at a vantage point. She should not be jumping and jousting," he said.

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