While speaking at the recent protest meeting organized by the Tamil film industry Eelam support movement, Bharathiraja first asked the huge crowd whether he should destroy the award or return it? The crowd went wild and in anticipation asked him to 'Break it'.
It was Cheran who counseled restrain and asked Bharathiraja to return it. After which the decision to return the award was accepted.
Popular Poet Inqulab has also decided to return his Padma Shri to the Government.