Unfazed by President Pranab Mukherjee’s virtual disapproval of returning of awards by some writers and other intellectuals, Congress today said the situation that forced them to do so “needs to be seen and corrected”.
“We have to look into the reasons. So, definitely, they would have been feeling so much hurt that they are forced to return the awards,” party’s senior spokesman Ajay Maken told reporters.
“So what is that they are being forced to return these awards is something which needs to be seen and corrected,” he said, adding that those who are doing so are “celebrated personalities”.
The Congress reaction came close on the heels of the President saying awards should be cherished and valued by the recipients and emotions should not “overrun reason”.
He observed that “sensitive minds” sometimes get disturbed by some incidents in the society but added that there should be “balanced” expression of concern over such events.
Mukherjee, while giving away national awards of Press Council of India to journalists and news photographers here, said, “Prestigious awards such as these are a public recognition of talent, merit and hard work by peers and leaders in the profession. Such awards should be cherished and valued by those who receive them.”
Apparently referring to the recent cases of writers, historians and other intellectuals returning their awards over “growing intolerance” in the country, the President said, “Sensitive minds sometimes get disturbed by some incidents in society. But, expression of concern over such events should be balanced. Emotions should not overrun reason, and disagreement should be expressed through debate and discussion.