NEW DELHI -- In an indirect jibe at the protesting Sahitya Akademi writers, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said that the 'intellectual class' must refrain from generalising stray incidents of violence as it can ruin the country's image.
Speaking at a book release in Hyderabad, Naidu said that there is a new trend going around of proclaiming that 'tolerance in this country is coming down', but asserted that India is the only country in this world where tolerance is observed, if not 100 per cent at least 99 per cent.
Naidu advised literary icons to be practical while passing judgment on the government and alleged that 'some people' have undertaken spiteful campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Referring to the arrests made during Emergency in 1970s and killings of Sikhs after former prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination, Naidu said except for a few writers and intellectuals like Khushwant Singh, most of them had kept their lips sealed.
The Centre has been persistently advising the Sahitya Akademi writers to protest on a 'different' platform and not give back the awards bestowed upon them by their own fraternity.
The writers' protest has escalated over the surge in cases of 'intolerance', and more literary icons are returning their awards in droves.