Varanasi: Renowned Urdu poet Munawwar Rana who about a year ago had said he would "happily carry Modi's shoes" now lashed out at the Prime Minister saying he could "feel the pain" of Dalits but was "unable to hear the outcry" of Muslims.
"Our Prime Minister can see as well as feel the pain of Dalits. But he is unable to hear and feel the outcry of Muslims, who are living in extreme and pitiable condition," he said, according to PTI.
The poet through his 'shayaris' (couplets), yesterday, at the All India Mushayare here urged for amicable relationships between India and Pakistan.
"There should be cultural exchanges. We must allow Pakistani artistes to at least perform in India. Let us keep our hopes alive for amicable relationship between the two countries," he said indicating at the tensions on the Indo-Pak border.
"The Indian Army should be kept separate from politics.
The Army should not be used for political gains," he demanded.
Expressing his views on police encounters, he said, "Most are fake, only in rare cases these encounters are genuine."
"Earlier the police charged innocent people with possessing illegal weapons, possessing narcotics or intoxicants. Now they are being framed for spreading terrorism," he alleged in the backdrop of the recent encounter of eight SIMI activists in Bhopal.
Rana said he still stood-by his words on not accepting any "awards or recognition from the government".
"Returning awards over rising intolerance in the country was the right decision by Indian writers, poets and academicians," he said.
Rana is one of the 50-odd writers who returned Sahitya Akademi and other awards after the killing of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and lynching of a Dadri man for allegedly consuming beef.
Participating in a televised debate with other writers and politicians, Munawwar Rana said he had decided to return the award because he was disappointed with the present developments in the country.
"I have no interest in awards. Never did I submit any of my writings for any award." Rana said while returning the award.
“I come from Rae Bareli, politics and power run through the street drains in my city but I never cared for them” he added.
While announcing his decision to return the award, Munawwar Rana also gave a cheque of Rs.100,000/-. Rana also announced that he will not accept any award from the government in future.
However in a surprising turnaround he later said he would be too happy to carry Prime Minister Narendra Modi's shoes if the latter invited him in the capacity of an elder brother.
"He is like my elder brother. And I have said in one of my poems that if loved like an elder brother, I would happily pick up his shoes", Munawwar Rana has been quoted as saying by the media in Lucknow.