Lucknow: Urdu poet Munawwar Rana, who has returned his Sahitya Akademi award over growing intolerance in the country, would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon.
"I got a call from PMO on Tuesday with a request to meet him the next day. As I was in Gwalior I said that it was not possible and the date and time should be fixed for some other day...On this I was told that it will take some time," Mr Rana said today.
A big name in contemporary Urdu poetry, the 62-year-old said that whenever PM Modi would call him, he would meet him and narrate his grief over the present scenario. He would also explain the reason behind his decision of returning award.
"I will meet the PM as a poet with reference to Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb of the country. My intention is to live the life which I was born with," said Mr Rana.
On being asked if he will meet PM Modi along with other litterateurs, he said, "Somebody goes with me or not is his or her personal choice, but if Modi calls me I will definitely meet him."
Mr Rana evaded the question of accepting his award again if Prime Minister would request. Over 30 writers have returned their awards over growing intolerance in the country.
Mr Rana had recently announced to give up his Sahitya Akademi award dramatically during a live TV debate over the killing of Kannada writer MM Kalburgi and lynching of a man in Dadri for allegedly consuming beef.
Born in Uttar Pradesh's Rae Bareli district, the writer was conferred the Sahitya Akademi award by the National Democratic Alliance government in 2014 for his book 'Shahdaba'.