KOCHI: Returning literary awards is not sufficient in itself to protest against the growing intolerance in the country, said writer Anita Nair.
“What is needed is an initiative to spread the message at the grassroots level,” said the Indian-English writer while speaking at a debate organised by a media firm here on Sunday.
According to her, the country is going through a difficult situation as far as intolerance is concerned, and the effect of various forms of protests like rejection of awards would be limited to the intelligentsia.
“The common man living in the country’s villages are not aware of the protests called by intellectuals. Though I am not against such protests, I believe more is needed to address the situation.
“Writers should write wherever is possible by them using the available medium, even handbills.
“Though media has a bigger role to play, it is doubtful whether it is playing the role of social conscience-keeper in its true meaning, in the present-day situation. People are silent because of fear, and whenever we are about to speak out the public, even youngsters, advice us to remain silent. The situation has made people insensitive to what is happening around,” she said.
When asked why the group she represents - the Indian English Writers - was not taking initiatives to play a larger role, the Kerala-born author said it was a difficult task to bring about such coordination.