It is indeed inspiriting to note that Girish Karnad, Jnanapeeth awardee (India’s highest literary award) and well known Kannada playwright, has refused to accept the “Puttanna Kanagal award” proposed to be given to him by BJP led Karnataka govt. While Girish may not have cited any reason for not accepting this award, it is nevertheless a slap on the face of the BJP in Karnataka which is not only corrupt, but continues to commit the culpable offence of communalising the entire society with its Hindu majoritarian ideology and practice.
Girish Karnad remains as one of those (diminishing breed) right thinking individuals who identify with righteousness and principles of probity and above all he stands for communal harmony and a egalitarian society. Girish through his plays and writings has upheld these principles, and to expect him to accept the award from a govt. led by BJP, whose hands are stained with blood, and has lined its pockets by stashing away ill-gotten wealth, is cheeky.
Be it anti-communalism or save the natural resources campaigns in Karnataka and nationally, Girish Karnad has unequivocally identified with the forces of radical dissent. It is foolhardy on the part of the BJP which has tried to appropriate secular activists through bribing some unassuming activists through state awards.
Instead the BJP govt. could have chosen many infamous actors of sorts in its own ‘parivar’ who deserve recognition for their ingenious talent for corruption, nepotism and poisoning communities with communal polarisation. BJP should know that there are still many upright public personalties left. It would be apt to remind the leaders of the BJP by quoting a proverb in Kannada ‘The cat drinking the milk with closed eyes and thinking nobody took notice’.
Jagadish G Chandra