Jaipur: Indian born British sculptor Anish Kapoor who compared Modi government with Taliban was among the list of half a dozen prominent personalities from different walks of life who were unceremoniously dropped from the governing body of Jawahar Kala Kendra, a government centre for cultural activities; barely three days after their nomination.
The ‘corrective’ step was taken following protest within the ruling party about inclusion of modi bashers in the governing body of a cultural body controlled by the government.
Kapoor while comparing Modi government with Taliban wrote in the Guardian, “A Hindu version of the Taliban is asserting itself, in which Indians are being told: “It’s either this view — or else.”
He argued that the current government’s “militant Hinduism” was risking the marginalization of minorities and harming the country’s pluralistic nature. Kapoor further wrote that Mr Modi was not a man who takes kindly to scrutiny or criticism. In fact, he has used the very economic agenda that causes Britain to turn a blind eye to his regime’s human rights abuses to muzzle dissent within India.”
Apart from Anish, there were at least five more people who had been at the forefront of campaign against growing ‘intolerance’ in the country including Booker prize winner Jeet Thayil who had returned Sangeet Natak Akademi award in protest of ‘intolerance’ but refused to return the money saying Modi government did not deserve it. Homi k. Bhabha was part of the plea by people of Indian origin to President Pranab Mukherjee expressing concern over intolerance in the country.
Poet Ranjit Hoskote and Padam Vibhushan awardee professor Vidya Dahejia of Columbia University too have been critical of the Modi government. Infosys founder Narayan Murti had also spoken about fear among minorities but his son Rohan Murti was included in the governing body by the Raje government.
Minister of art & culture Krishnendra Kaur Deepa removed all of them late on Wednesday night after consulting the CM as the matter threatened to snowball in a major controversy and cause of embarrassment for the ruling BJP as well as the PM. What also made the decision swift was reaction of Raje’s rival within the party former ministers Ghanshyam Tiwari and Narpat Singh Rajvi who had questioned.
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