Actor Prakash Raj returning his National awards over journalist Gauri Lankesh's murder?

Prakash Raj has been vocal about his stance on the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh and spoke firmly against the ruling central government for their silence on the issue.

Speaking from Bengaluru, the popular actor sarcastically said he would much rather give his national awards to the ruling politicians as they appear to be "bigger actors" than him.

"Some people who are followed by our Prime Minister on Twitter are so brutal, and we have a PM who has closed his eyes to it. If you see videos today from Uttar Pradesh, you will be confused if he (Yogi Adityanath) is the Chief Minister or the pujari (priest) of some temple. We have people doing such double roles," Raj said. "They have given me five National Awards. I feel like giving it to them. These are bigger actors than me."

Despite being criticized for his comments online, the actor stated he would remain firm on his stand.

"I am disturbed, hurt, I am afraid of the silence of my Prime Minister," he said.

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Gauri Lankesh was a renowned journalist, known for her secularist views and critique against the right-wing ideologies. She was shot dead while returning home from her office in Bengaluru, by a man seen wearing a helmet on CCTV footage.

Things further took an ugly turn when some Twitter users abused the 55 year old deceased journalist for her left-driven ideologies and celebrated her death. Several media outlets also noted how many of these Twitter accounts were being followed by prime minister Narendra Modi.

The murder gave rise to the debate of intolerance in the nation again, which several protests being held across the country.

Responding to Prakash's public critique of the government, BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli, said that Prakash Raj should place the questions on the Congress party since it runs Karnataka. "It is a case of misplaced priorities because what this gentleman should have done is actually ask the question to the Congress government of the state because the police come under the state." Kohli said. "Why haven't they found the killers?"

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As confusions rose in media outlets over Prakash's initial dialogue criticizing the government, he cleared he did not state to return his national award, but said how some politicians deserved it more, being "bigger actors" than him.

"I am not such a fool to give back the National Awards which has been given to me for my body of work and which I am very proud of," he said.

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