After his controversial statement suggesting that the Kempegowda Airport in Bengaluru be named after Tipu Sultan, Jnanapith awardee Girish Karnad has apologised for making the statement. Even as he got a death threat on Twitter yesterday, the popular film-maker has hit out at PM Modi for the ‘intolerance’ in the country.
In an interview with Times of India, he said, “Intolerance will happen when government or leaders like Narendra Modi do it…”
On Tuesday at a government-led celebration of Tipu Jayanti at Vidhana Soudha, Karnad had suggested that the government should rename Bengaluru airport after Tipu Sultan. The next day he received death threats from a Twitter user named ‘Intolerant Chandra’.
A senior police officer told TOI that the Twitter user ‘Intolerant Chandra’ had threatened Karnad saying he would meet the same end as MM Kalburgi if he offends Kannadigas. The tweet was making the rounds on social media yesterday. However, the official added that action would be taken if necessary and if a complaint was lodged.
“Girish Karnad will meet the same end like Kalburgi if he enrages kannadigas by replacing in Kempe Gouda (sic) with Tipu Sultan,” the tweet read.
However, the user deleted the tweet later.
Screenshot of Intolerant Chandra's tweet posted by another Twitter user.
A day after members of Vokkaligara Sangha protested outside Karnad’s house, the playwright issued a statement of apology on Wednesday. In his apology he said, "If anybody has been hurt by my remarks, I apologize.... What will I gain by giving such comments?"
In the TOI interview Karnad said that he apologised for a statement he never made. He denied that he ever asked for renaming of the airport and opined that there can't be any civilized debate on Tipu Sultan because it would offend the right-wing groups.
Intolerance will happen when government or leaders like Narendra Modi do it. When the Dadri episode happened, Modi did not comment for a week. This gives rise to intolerance. This is official intolerance and I condemn it and such things need control mechanism, Karnad told TOI.
Speaking on how to prevent parties from polarizing matters relating to history and religion, Karnad said as long as India is a democracy and Twitter, Facebook and social media exist, criticism cannot be controlled.
“Because of the emergence of Twitter, Facebook and other social media, it becomes sensational or controversial as everyone comments or criticizes it. That's the situation and we can't control it. I don't want to control it,” he said.
This is an aggregation from Times of India.