A day after writer Nayantara Sahgal returned her Sahitya Akademi award, poet Ashok Vajpeyi has also given back his award.
"Under Modi we are going backwards, regressing, narrowing down to Hindutva...there is rising intolerance and lots of Indians are living in fear," Vajpeyi told NDTV.
The former chairman of Lalit Kala Academy, who was given the prestigious Sahitya Academy award in 1994 said that 'it is high time that writers take a stand' against the growing intolerance in the country.
"The Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) keeps quiet. He is an eloquent Prime Minister who addresses lakhs of people, but here writers are being murdered, innocent people are being killed, his ministers are making objectionable statements...Why doesn't he shut them up?" he told a national media organisation.
Vajpeyi said that the strong stand taken by Nayantara Sahgal needed to be supported by the writing community and also criticised Modi's silence over rising communalism in India.
"He has uttered no word of condemnation at all at these incidents. The whole country wishes the Prime Minister to make a statement because the situation is getting more and more serious."