Theatre artist Maya Krishna Rao on Monday returned her Sangeet Nataak Akademi award to protest against the Dadri lynching and the “overall rising intolerance” in the country.
“Rationalists, creative artists, thinkers, dissenters, activists have faced threats and even been murdered. On a carefully-orchestrated malicious rumour in Dadri village an ironsmith was lynched and killed. The government has failed to speak up for the rights of the citizens in disturbing incidents such as these,” Ms. Rao alleged.
In a letter addressed to Helen Acharya, the secretary of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Ms. Rao expressed her disappointment.
“The present government has in spite of reminders from society, done little to stand up for the right of people to express their thoughts and ideas and love the way they would choose to in a free country,” she said.
“The Prime Minister is just agreeing with the statement made by the President barring that he has not said anything else regarding the incidents that are happening in the country. The Prime Minister has to be acting on whatever is happening on the ground,” Ms. Rao said.
A founder-member of the street theatre group Theatre Union, Mr. Rao scripted, directed, and performed street plays such as Om Swaha , a critique of dowry, and Dafa No. 180 , on the Indian rape law, between 1979 and 1982.