Protesting scientists worried by ‘vulnerable’ state of country

New Delhi: With writers and artists raising their voices against the growing intolerance in the country, scientists have also joined the protesting chorus, saying that all creative people are worried if they can continue working because of the ‘vulnerable’ present condition, where ‘freedom of expression and right to create’ are being suppressed.

“The most important worry at this point of time is the present atmosphere where the freedom of speech and expression and right to create has become vulnerable and are being suppressed. Because of this all creative people are worried about the fact if they could continue with their work,” said scientist Dinesh Abrol.

He stressed that an anti-intellectual, hatred filled atmosphere has been created and there is interference of organizations like the RSS.

“There is a kind of atmosphere wherein if you don’t get aligned with them (RSS like organisations) then you would not get the state support,” he added.

“The worrying state of affairs has brought all of us (scientists, writers, film directors) together. We want to take our issues to the people so that it pressurizes the government. This movement will not stop here, it will go on,” he said.

Historians had earlier joined writers, filmmakers and scientists in growing protests against what they called a “climate of intolerance”.

Top scientist P M Bhargava had earlier said he would return his Padma Bhushan award, alleging that the NDA Government at the Centre was trying to make India into a “Hindu religious autocracy”.

About 53 historians, including Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, K N Pannikar and Mridula Mukherjee have criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not issuing a “reassuring statement” to allay the concerns over what they called a “highly vitiated atmosphere” prevailing in the country.

Earlier, filmmakers, including names like Dibakar Banerjee and Anand Patwardhan, returned various government awards and honours they have received to express solidarity with FTII students.

Before them, 33 Sahitya Akademi awardees had returned their awards in protest against what they perceived to be a growing atmosphere of intolerance in the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi.