UNION Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has called upon politicians to refrain from meddling in other fields like literature.
Gadkari’s remark came in his valedictory address at the 92nd Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan at Yavatmal on Sunday. Coming soon after an invite to English writer Nayantara Sahgal to inaugurate the festival was cancelled, Gadkari’s remark is being seen as a rebuff to those behind the decision.
“Politics has its own limitations and we should learn that politicians should not interfere in other fields like education and literature. Let those managing these fields do their work,” Gadkari said.
He added, “Non-interference does not mean not to have a relationship with them. During the Emergency, writers like Durga Bhagwat and P L Deshpande had become more popular than politicians and their rallies attracted more people. They said as litterateurs, they were fighting for keeping democracy alive no matter who comes to power. But they returned to their fields after the Janata Party came to power. They never sought any political position like a Rajya Sabha seat. Therefore, there should be co-operation, co-ordination and communication between politicians and litterateurs. Where there is no communication, there is bad communication and where there is bad communication, there are heated exchanges. Therefore, we must respect each other’s limit and try to understand each other better.”
Gadkari added, “In historic times, the dharmaguru used to tell the king that religion would have its check on the political power. In modern times, a social deterrent must come up to keep a check on political power. This force will be created by the combined strength of people like journalists and litterateurs.”
Gadkari also lauded the organisers’ decision to get the literary meet inaugurated by Vaishali Yede, wife of a farmer who committed suicide over agrarian distress. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was to address the literary meet Saturday, did not attend the event.