NEW DELHI, Oct 29 - Historians today joined writers, filmmakers and scientists in growing protests against the �climate of intolerance� over which top scientist PM Bhargava said he will return his Padma Bhushan award, alleging that the Modi Government was trying to make India a �Hindu religious autocracy�.
As a second group of scientists joined the wave of protests by the intelligentsia, 53 historians, including Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, KN Pannikar and Mridula Mukherjee hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not making any �reassuring statement� following concerns over the �highly vitiated atmosphere� prevailing in the country.
�Differences of opinion are being sought to be settled by using physical violence. Arguments are met not with counter arguments, but with bullets,� the statement by historians said, referring to the Dadri lynching incident and the ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni during a book launch function in Mumbai.
�When writer after writer is returning their award of recognition in protest, no comment is made about the conditions that caused the protest; instead the ministers call it a paper revolution and advise the writers to stop writing,� it said.
Bhargava, who founded the prestigious Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, said he will return the award conferred on him in 1986 because he felt the climate in the country was of �very strong fear� and it was �against rationality, against reason and against scientific temper�. � PTI