Stating that writers should not have returned their awards, some board members of the Sahitya Akademi on Thursday termed the protest by writers as "ho-halla" (loud clamour), reported The Indian Express.
"If there is any threat (to freedom of expression) then we must present the case with evidence and submit to the government. Ho-halla jyada hua hai (A lot of noise has been made)," board member Surya Prasad Dixit told The Indian Express.
The remark comes a day before the executive board of the Sahitya Akademi is set to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the issue of writers returning their awards as a mark of protest.
According to the report, some members of the board also "rejected the contention of writers that freedom of speech is threatened under the present BJP government."
The report quotes Gangadhar Hansdah, another member, as saying â€śReturning of these awards is not right. These writers say that the Sahitya Akademi is not doing anything, but the circumstances we are working in must be understood."
He further said that the atmosphere is not one where writers must feel that there is a threat to freedom of speech. "We have no legal powers to give them protection. How can we pass resolution against the government, it has not done anything against the writers. Some writers are raising their voice against the government, but itâ€™s their personal choice. Aisa koi mahaul nahi hai ki lage ki freedom of speech ko khatra hai (The atmosphere isnâ€™t such so as to make one feel that there is threat to freedom of speech)."