“The return of awards in 2015 still rattles those in power”

Renowned poet Ashok Vajpeyi speaks to writer Githa Hariharan for the Indian Cultural Forum about the role of writers in speaking up against intolerance and hate politics over the last five years — and contributing to the larger political churning against the current regime. In the context of the elections and its aftermath, he revisits the significance of writers returning their Sahitya Akademi awards in 2015; the murder of scholar and social critic MM Kalburgi; the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq; and the way ahead, post-elections, for citizens in general and writers in particular.