MAINTAINING A distance from the views of Shripal Sabnis, Madhvi Vaidya, author and president of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal, organising the 89th Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, said on Monday that the body will pass a resolution at the literary meet to condemn the tendencies that are “trying to muzzle the freedom of speech in a democracy like ours.”
At the same time, Sabnis, already embroiled in a controversy for his alleged remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has promised to lash out at the “growing intolerance” in the country.
Vaidya clarified that the mahandal does not share the views on Prime Minister expressed by Sabnis and is not party to any controversy. Vaidya, however, maintained that the mahamandal will pass a resolution during the literary meet — starting in Pimpri on January 15— condemning the tendencies that silence democratic voices like those of Dabholkar, Pansare and Kalburgi.
“Be it threats to Sabnis or the forces that killed the three rationalists, we condemn them all. They stooped very low…We do not approve of such mindsets. Free speech should be countered with free speech and not with guns and bullets. We are living in a democracy and therefore, we ought to respect the freedom of speech of an individual,” Vaidya said.
Asked if the controversy will affect the literary meet, Vaidya said, they are putting in all efforts to make it a successful event.
Meanwhile, Sabnis, who will deliver his speech at the inauguration of the literary meet on January 15, is apparently preparing to talk about ‘intolerance’. He has prepared a 100-page speech encompassing issues, including the current ones like intolerance, secularism, communalism. “Yes, my speech will contain remarks on intolerance and secularism. My speech will highlight whatever is happening in the country. Besides this, it will also touch upon issues such as farmers’ suicides, caste system, among others,” Sabnis said. Sabnis, on Monday too, remained defiant and said that he will not apologise for his remarks.
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