I am a National Award winner. Two of them, in fact, for an animation film I made in 2009.
They were given by Pratibha Patil who is not a lady I admire at all, but she did occupy the position of the President.
I would never give up my awards because of the simple reason that awards are not given by a bunch of thugs who either run government or run the thugs who commit murder and mayhem, but by the people of India.
Ultimately, I would like to believe that my work, whether it is painting, writing books, or making small animation films that highlight social causes, is meant to address my people.
Rather than abdicating my responsibility and my hard won liberal space – hard won, not just by me, but many others before me, I would rather stay and fight for what I believe in.
And I will never lose my faith in my people though they may be misled, duped, beguiled, or held in some deep thrall they are unable to come out of, at the moment.
This is not to say that I do not empathize or understand the hopelessness of the writers who are giving up their awards, but I believe that this is not the way forward.
These resignations from important posts and the relinquishing of awards by writers who are outraged by the murder of Kalburgi may be well meaning but from the sneering I am seeing on my timeline from so many people, I am bound to admit that they are not effective. In fact they are, by giving up their awards and positions of responsibility making it easier for others to fill their spaces. And we all know what kind of people they will be.
This does not help their cause.