Kolkata: West Bengal Governor K.N. Tripathi on Thursday said the reason behind a section of authors returning Sahitya Akademi awards is politically motivated in contrast to what they say it to be in protest against the “rising religious intolerance” in the society. 
The wave of the intellectuals returning the award one after the another was questioned by Tripathi. He asked, “Why did they not return the award when the (2013) Muzaffarnagar riots happened? How is that they have awakened now. There appears to be some kind of political configuration behind the return of the awards,”
Tripathi further added, “How it is that none of them were prompted then to return the award earlier and why now?” 
After the noted writer and niece of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Nayantara Sahgal returned her Sahitya Akademi award over the Dadri lynching case, a similar reaction was witnessed from other recipients of the award from across the country.
Tripathi’s comments come a day after about 100 intellectuals and authors from the state on Wednesday wrote to President Pranab Mukherjee, seeking that the Narendra Modi government take a tough stand against fundamentalists.
Highlighting the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, leftist Govind Pansare and scholar M.M. Kalburgi, the intellectuals expressed deep concern over the rising communal polarisation and intolerance in the country. 
The returning of the award is an attempt from their side to awaken the government and take a serious step against the growing religious intolerance and communal polarisation. 
(With Inputs from IANS)

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