Padma Awardee Neeraj Slams Return of Government Honours

Published: 31st December 2015 02:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st December 2015 02:48 PM   |  A+A-


BAREILY: Regretting that litterateurs have started indulging in politics, noted poet and lyricist Gopal Das Neeraj has alleged that those returning their awards were the "yes men" of the Congress party.

The Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee also rejected claims of "intolerance" in the country as he further charged that those returning their awards had adopted "double standards".

"It is a matter of regret that litterateurs are also indulging in politics. There is no intolerance in the country and those taking part in this false propaganda are playing with the prestige of the nation," Neeraj said on the sidelines of a poetry conference and 'mushaira' here last night.

Slamming the writers who have returned their awards on the issue of intolerance, he said, "Those who got awards during Congress rule have returned them out of loyalty for them (Congress)." 

He insisted that "the prime minister does not belong to any particular party but to the entire country and it is not right to stoop to this level just to humiliate him".

Accusing those returning their awards of having adopted double standards, Neeraj said that their "inner voice remained silent" when 3 lakh Kashmiri Pandits were being harassed in their homeland.

He alleged that those who have returned their awards had become party to a "conspiracy" hatched against the elected government at the Centre.

On the issue of dynastic politics, Neeraj charged that it was the late prime minister Indira Gandhi who had started this trend.

The recipient of the Padma Shri in 1991 and Padma Bhushan in 2007, meanwhile, praised Modi, saying he was an "energetic" prime minister. He further said that Akhilesh Yadav was the chief minister with new and positive thinking.

Neeraj, who has also penned songs for Hindi films, said that state government has given him the task of encouraging Hindi and he was working in that direction.

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