[Mukul was reportedly under a lot of pressure to attend the ceremony from his peers and the management at the Indian Express. (YouTube photo)]
New Delhi: Award winning author and senior journalist working for the Times of India, Akshaya Mukul, in a gesture of protest against rising intolerance in the country, refused to accept the prestigeous Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.
"I am extremely honoured to get the award. But I have problem in receiving the award from Modi", Akshaya Mukul said while talking to catchnews.
News of Mukul boycotting the award ceremony started doing rounds early in the day. Speaking to The Caravan, the senior journalist said, "I cannot live with the idea of Modi and me in the same frame, smiling at the camera even as he hands over the award to me."
According to reports, management's decision to invite the Prime Minister has irked some of top editors of The Indian Express as well.
Mukul was reportedly under a lot of pressure to attend the ceremony from his peers and the management at the Indian Express.
Mukul was awarded Ramnath Goenka Award for his book Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India. The book, which received critical acclaim from various corners, has also the Tata Literature Live! Book of the Year Award, and the Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Book Prize for best non-fiction work in English.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the award ceremony organised by The Indian Express said "credibility is the biggest challenge for media in the age of technology and it is important for media establishments to maintain it".
Speaking after giving away the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, Modi said, "Earlier people with certain training and qualification came to journalism but today anybody with a mobile phone can click a picture and upload it."
Setting two important matters before the media, Modi said, he does not have any issue with the government being criticised by the media but there should be no mistake in reporting.
"National unity", he added, "Should be the priority as India is a diverse country".