Noted writer Nayantara Sahgal on Tuesday asserted that the invitation to inaugurate the "Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan" in Mumbai got cancelled as the organisers buckled due to political pressure.
Her comments came a day after Sehgal was asked not to come to the literary meet "as they were unable to fulfill their commitment to have her at the function due to some unavoidable reasons."
However, Sahgal claimed that this was not the first time that the central government cancelled such events.
"I do not know the reason, I think there was some political pressure. Singer TM Krishna, Ramachandra Guha and Gopal Gandhi's events were cancelled and it is not limited to writers," Sahgal told ANI.
Expressing discontent over rising incidents of cow vigilantism and mob lynching, the noted writer alleged, "The government is not able to tolerate the people of opposite ideologies because it does not allow us to participate in such events."
Raising concerns about the environment under the BJP-ruled Centre, Sahgal asserted that she has been expressing her thoughts freely for so many years while claiming that same freedom for writers is being suppressed.
"My concern is that people's freedom is being suppressed, and they (BJP) say that I have opposed the Congress too. At the time of Emergency (in 1975), I openly opposed Indira Gandhi, where at that time, speaking or writing against her was not tolerated," the writer said.
The organisers had said a threat was issued by some local activists affiliated to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena through media to disrupt the event, thus forcing them to request Sehgal to not come to the literary meet.
The three-day Marathi Literary Fest is slated to commence from January 11.
In 2015, Sehgal had earned national attention, when she returned her Sahitya Academy Award in protest against what she called as "rising intolerance" in the country under the BJP-led Centre. The award was bestowed for her English literary work titled "Rich Like Us" in 1986.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)