Chandigarh: Eminent Punjabi writer Dalip Kaur Tiwana today announced that she will return her Padma Shri in protest against the "rising communal tension" in the country.
"In this land of Gautama Buddha and Guru Nanak Dev, the atrocities committed on the Sikhs in 1984 and on the Muslims recurrently because of communalism are an utter disgrace to our state and society.
"And to kill those who stand for truth and justice put us to shame in the eyes of the world and God. In protest, therefore, I return the Padma Shri award," she wrote in a letter to the Central government.
"I condemn the rising communal tension in the country and what is happening with minorities," she told PTI over telephone.
Tiwana was conferred with the Padma Shri in 2004. She was also awarded the Sahitya Akademi in 1971 for her novel 'Eho hamara jivana' (This our life).
She is the 8th writer to return her award in the last three days from Punjab.
A widely translated novelist and short-story writer of contemporary Punjabi literature, Tiwana retired as Professor of Punjabi, and Dean, Faculty of Languages, Punjabi University, Patiala.