Mumbai

Don't invite Modi for Marathi literary meet, urge Leftists


Mumbai, Dec 20 (IANS): A group of prominent Leftists under the banner of 'Govind Pansare Abhivadan Samiti' has demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not be invited for the annual Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (ABMSS) in Vadodara in February.

"We appeal to the organising committee that Modi should not be invited in any capacity for the inauguration or the closing ceremonies of the 91st ABMSS scheduled in Vadodara," the GPAS said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Justifying the call, the GPAS signatories -- veteran communist leaders Prakash Reddy, Subodh More and Yogesh Kamble -- said under Modi's tenure as Prime Minister, progressive writers were being attacked and secular people and rationalists were made to face mobocracy.

As a result, many prominent literary figures had returned their prizes or honours while government institutions in cinema, theatre and textbooks were being imposed with 'Manuvadi' cadres, they pointed out.

"However, Modi has maintained a stoic silence all along. His economic policies have done injustice to Mumbai and Maharashtra, and his love for Marathi is nowhere to be seen," the GPAS said.

Hence, they urged the ABMSS to omit Modi's name for the three-day literary event scheduled on February 16-18 and to be presided over by Pune-based Marathi novelist Laxmikant Deshmukh.

This is the fourth time Vadodara -- the former Lok Sabha constituency of Modi - has been selected to host the ABMSS event since its inception in Pune in 1878 under the chairmanship of the legendary Justice M.G. Ranade.

Prior to 2018, the literary meet has been held in the erstwhile royal kingdom of Baroda in 1901 (7th ABMSS), 1921 (11th), and 1934 (20th), while earlier this year, the 90th ABMSS was held in Dombivali in Thane in Maharashtra.


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