New Delhi: Amid a string of writers and a theatre artist returning their awards in protest against the Dadri lynching and the "rising intolerance" in the country, the Sangeet Natak Akademi chair has advised against "misguided reactions."
"Reaction is the first 'dharma' of a creative person, but all I am saying that it should not be misguided and directed towards the wrong people or organisation," Chairperson of Sangeet Natak Akademi, Shekhar Sen, told PTI.
After several authors giving up their Sahitya Akademi Awards, noted city-based actor Maya Krishna Rao had on Monday returned her Sangeet Natak Akademi Award over the government's failure to "speak up for the rights of citizens." Rao is the first artist to return her award citing "rising intolerance" in the country.
"It's the personal decision of the artists to return her award. We honour her decision and anger. But a realisation has to dawn upon the creative community that we are an autonomous body. The awards are given by jury members who are themselves from the creative fraternity," Sen said.
Citing the autonomous nature of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Sen said, the institution's awards handed over by the government is an "honour being bestowed upon by fellow artists in the community."
"Anger is fine, even I am angry, but misguided anger is not a solution to the problem," said Sen, who is also a singer, music composer lyricist and an actor.
A Padma Shri awardee in the field of arts, Sen had become the Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2015. The chairperson, meanwhile, suggested other forms of protest such as plays, poetry and songs.
"If a person has a problem with the law and order they should complain to the law and order department. If a person has a problem with the government, the complaint should be lodged with the authorities," Sen said.
Requesting, the creative fraternity to channelise their reaction in creative ways, he said, "Awards given by autonomous institutions like ours should not be politicised."