Marathi author slams Modi over 2002 riots

Updated - September 22, 2016 09:11 pm IST

Published - January 02, 2016 02:32 am IST - PUNE:

Marathi author Shripal Sabnis has criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a man forever “smeared with the taint of the 2002 Gujarat riots.”

Speaking at a function here, Dr. Sabnis said Mr. Modi was not fit to be Prime Minister.

Censuring his “impromptu” visit to Pakistan, he said: “It is hard to swallow that the Prime Minister, a hardcore RSS worker, visits Pakistan on an ad hoc basis to offer birthday greetings to his counterpart Nawaz Sharif... and this is a man who has his hands tainted by the Gujarat riots.”

But Mr. Sabnis endorsed talks with Pakistan and said cultural ties must continue. “Ghulam Ali should be allowed to sing anywhere in India,” he said, in a veiled rebuke to the Shiv Sena, the BJP’s ally, accused of pressuring the organisers of the ghazal maestro’s concerts to cancel them.

Dr. Sabnis, whose works underscore the plight of the oppressed, has taken an ambivalent attitude towards the Prime Minister in the past.

Return of awards

In November last, he endorsed the returning of awards by authors to protest the growing climate of intolerance in the country under Mr. Modi’s government, immediately after he was elected president of the 89th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan 2016. But he also praised the Prime Minister’s mission to make India a developed economy.

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