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MUMBAI: India’s best-selling novelist Chetan Bhagat has criticized the authors and filmmakers who have returned various awards to protest against what they call the prevailing culture of intolerance under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking in Indore on Friday in connection with the upcoming Indore Literature Festival next month, Chetan Bhagat said, “Had Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and other leaders been to Doon school, had they a foreign English accent, then these privileged class people would not have said anything against them.’’
The 41-year-old novelist said he cannot understand why people are returning their awards when no crisis-like situation exists in India to warrant such action.
“There is complete freedom of speech and expression in India. Nobody has ever asked me to say or not say something. When someone returns an award this way, it gives an opportunity to foreign media to brand us as intolerant’,” Bhagat said.
The author of best-selling novels such as Five Point Someone and Two States said he won’t join politics because he values his freedom of speech.