Yesterday we had reported how eminent scientists and Padma awardees like Physicist Bikash Sinha and former chairman of ISRO G Madhavan Nair had come out against the Award Wapsee gang. Sinha had said that returning awards in such a manner is “an insult to the country“ and Nair, had termed the Award-Wapsee routine a mere “show“. He had further slammed the award returnees saying:
“Matured people like scientists and writers should not react like this; they should respond constructively. “
Today, artists have joined hands to counter the Award Wapsee gang. Economic Times has reported that, a number of artists, film personalities and writers plan to lead a campaign called `Jawab Do’ to question those who have chosen to return their awards now. Reports said, the counter-protest is being planned at Rashtrapati Bhavan on November 7. There will be a march from the India Gate lawns to Rashtrapati Bhavan, after which a memorandum is expected to be submitted to President Pranab Mukherjee.
Flautist Pt Chetan Joshi, who has declared support to this campaign has said: “We have been artists for several years now and suddenly there is a fistful of people who are saying that there is no freedom in the country , but we don’t see or feel any such thing on the ground.” He said that those returning awards do not represent all artists, “There is another side also and so we will all share our views on this on 7th November.”
Playwright Daya Prakash Sinha has also said he will participate in this movement to oppose the “manufactured protest“ by Award Wapsee gang. He said, “Where were these people when Kashmiri Hindus were being thrown out of their homes, during the Emergency or the anti-Sikh riots? This is selective sensitivity that is mostly against PM Modi, just to malign him and deliberately tarnish his international reputation,“
Actor Anupam Kher has also apparently been invited to this protest and he has said, “I have been approached on this for the 7th November event. I still have to look at the details but if the issue of returning of awards is being raised by an authentic organisation I would definitely like to go,“