Sehgal, who received a Sahitya Akademi award in 1986 for her English novel 'Rich Like Us (1985)', said, "The ruling ideology today is a fascist ideology and that is what is worrying me now. We did not have a fascist government until now... I am doing whatever I believe in."
Citing various incidents of killings of writers and rationalists including M M Kalburgi and Govind Pansare, she alleged, "Rationalists who question superstition, anyone who questions any aspect of the ugly and dangerous distortion of Hinduism known as Hindutva whether in the intellectual or artistic sphere, or whether in terms of food habits and lifestyle are being marginalized, persecuted, or murdered."
Most recently, a village blacksmith, Mohammed Akhlaq, was dragged out of his home in Bishada village outside Delhi, and brutally lynched, on the supposed suspicion that beef was cooked in his home, the 88-year-old author said in a statement.
"In all these cases, justice drags its feet. The Prime Minister remains silent about this reign of terror. We must assume he dare not alienate evil doers who support his ideology. It is a matter of sorrow that the Sahitya Akademi remains silent....
"In memory of the Indians who have been murdered, in support of all Indians who uphold the right to dissent, and of all dissenters who now live in fear and uncertainty, I am returning my Sahitya Akademi Award," said Sehgal, who in the past also strongly criticized imposition of the Emergency in 1975 by her cousin late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

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