Update: Sahitya Akademi’s ‘Yuva Puraskar’-winning author Aman Sethi today said he is returning his award
New Delhi: Gujarat-based writer Ganesh Devy and four other eminent writers today decided to return their Sahitya Akademi awards while Kannada writer Aravind Malagatti resigned from the body’s general council, joining the growing protest by litterateurs over “rising intolerance” and “communal” atmosphere.
Devy said he was returning the award to express solidarity with Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi and others who have given up their awards to protest the growing intolerance towards differences of opinion” in the country.Delhi-based Aman Sethi said he too was returning the Sahitya Award he got in 1993.
Eminent writers from Punjab, Gurbachan Bhullar, Ajmer Singh Aulakh and Atamjit Singh, also announced that they were returning their Sahitya Akademi awards like several other authors including Sara Joseph and Uday Prakash, demanding that the Akademi speak out against the killing of its member Kalburgi and other rationalists and the “communal” atmosphere in the backdrop of the Dadri lynching incident.
A renowned Punjabi playwright, Aulakh said he was “very upset over the communal atmosphere being created in the country and the central government was not performing its duty as the representative of a secular and democratic country”.
Punjabi theatre personality Atamjit Singh said he was returning his Akademi Award as he “is very upset over the incidents communal hatred in the country for the last some months”. In more embarrassment for the Akademi, Aravind Malagatti resigned from its General Council, condemning its ‘silence’ over the killing of progressive thinker and scholar Kalburgi.