Submitted by Editor on Mon, 2016-01-11 11:39 Bengaluru: The Award Wapsi movement against intolerance refused to die. Writer and literary critic Rahmat Tarikere has joined the bandwagon of distinguished litterateurs who have declined awards. Tarikere, one of the taller figures of contemporary Kannada literature, has declined to accept the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award for 2013, to protest against the atmosphere of intolerance that has showed no change even in the aftermath of the killing Dr M M Kalburgi. Prof Malleshappa Madivalappa Kalburgi, who was an Indian scholar of Vachana Sahitya and served as the vice-chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi, was shot dead by two unidentified persons at his house in Kalyan Nagar, Dharwad on 30 August 2015. Kalburgi, was also known for his strong stand against superstitious practices and right-wing groups in India. It can be recalled that over 75 eminent personalities including filmmakers Kundan Shah and Saeed Mirza as well as noted author Arundhati Roy had returned their awards in October and November 2015. They had also raised the issue of anti-intolerance campaign people with leadership role in shaping a society's culture, literature and politics who strongly accused BJP-led government of stoking religious tensions and muzzling criticism. The murder of Dr Kalburgi, as well as the killing of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare in Maharashtra, followed by the mob lynching of a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh over cow-killing rumours had provoked a widespread campaign against intolerance by writers, intellectuals and even scientists. But, the movement, instead of introspection, only drew attacks on it. The atmosphere of intolerance and hatred showed no signs of abating. Several Union ministers, including V K Singh had hit the news headlines over their insensitive remarks on minorities and weaker sections. Singh made remarks that appeared to equate the killing of two Dalit children in Faridabad to stray dogs being attacked with stones. In the first week of November, 2015, senior BJP leaders launched a verbal attack on Bollywood icon Shahrukh Khan after he commented over increasing intolerance. The next to draw their wrath was Amir Khan. It is in this context that Rahmat Tarikere has declined the award. On January 9, he wrote to Karnataka Sahitya Academy, stating that he is unable to receive Sahitya Academy award 2013. He said that the reason behind his decision was the killing of Dr Kalburgi. While agreeing that the Akademi had taken a healthy stand on the issue, Dr Tarikere said he, however did not see any change in the atmosphere of intolerance. “This has placed me in dilemma from which I am not able to come out,” he said, declining the award.