Noted theatre and film personality Girish Karnad has withdrawn from the Goa government's Golden Jubilee Development Council, headed by scientist R.A. Mashelkar.

The council, formed by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat in Goa's golden jubilee year of liberation, is mandated to formulate a vision for Goa for the next 25 years.

In a letter to Mr. Kamat last week, a copy of which was made available to The Hindu on Monday, Mr. Karnad said he was deeply shocked to hear about attacks by self-styled champions of Hindu culture on the works of Jose Pereira, a scholar and artist of eminence.

“I should like to withdraw my name from the High Level Committee, which you were kind enough to invite me to serve on since this is not the culture of Liberation I had hoped to celebrate,” he said.

Mr. Karnad said he was horrified that private vigilante groups were permitted to take the law into their own hands “while the State stands mute and the police express inability to protect the exhibition of his work.”

The Goa-based Xavier Centre of Historical Research recently hastily wound up its art exhibition, where Epiphanies of the Hindu Gods by Jose Pereira was displayed after continued pressure and threats from Hindu Janjagruti Samiti (HJS) activists. The HJS lodged police complaints and said the exhibition hurt the sentiments of Hindus.It even confronted the artist at one of his functions and sought an explanation from him.

Keywords: Girish Karnad