Kannada writer U R Ananthamurthy, who had said that he would leave the country if Narendra Modi becomes the prime minister, on Monday said those remarks were made when he was "overcome by emotion" and clarified that he had no such plan, though he continues to oppose the Bharatiya Janata Party.
At a media interaction, Ananthamurthy said he favoured a "supple" government, which can meet diverse demands rather than a strong government which would impose homogeneity.
"A few months ago in Bangalore in a meeting, I was overcome by emotion, and I said I will not live in a country where Modi is Prime Minister. That was too much to say because I can't go anywhere except India," he said, flanked by Planning Commission member Sayeda Hameed and litterateur Ashok Vajpeyi.
He, however, said that if Modi comes to power it may result in a "shift in our civilisation."
"I have a feeling that we may slowly lose our democratic rights or civil rights, when there is a bully. But much more than that when there is a bully we become cowards," Ananthamurthy said.
Speaking further, he said that an atmosphere is being created to allow Modi to rise and even media and liberals were doing it.
He was asked whether he feared that the country would be bogged down by pogroms and violence if Modi came to power.
"Yes, that is a basic fear. But it can also happen slowly in an invisible way that we go on changing and the whole Indian character will change... That is much worse than bloodbath and things like that," Ananthamurthy replied.
Ananthamurthy said that he had been accused by former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa of drawing Rs 1 lakh salary as the chancellor of Central University which was incorrect.
He said rather than development, political parties should make "Sarvodaya", which means reaching out to the most deprived, as their goal.
Anathamurthy said that his preference was AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal in Varanasi and Congress in Karnataka in order to defeat Modi.
Ashok Vajpeyi said corporates were taking a part openly in the elections and raised question over the source of money in the polls.
Planning Commission member Sayeda Hameed said that Gujarat was behind other states in many key areas.