Akademi Not Accepting Back Any Award: Sehgal

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New Delhi: Noted Indian writer Nayantara Sehgal today refuted the latest media reports which claimed that Sehgal has decided to take back her Sahitya Akademi award.

She had returned her Sahitya Akademi award last year in protest against alleged intolerance in the country.

“Sahitya Akademi has started sending back the awards to the writers… It has already been sent to Nayantara Sehgal. Another writer Nand Bhardwaj has also agreed to take back the award. It would be sent to other writers as well,” reported PTI quoting Sahitya Akademi president Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari.

“I have written a letter to the Sahitya Akademi that I have not reconsidered my decision to take back the award. They are spreading incorrect reports,” Nayantara Sehgal said.

She also said that the government is curbing the freedom of speech and expression and that they are working on Hindutva agenda.

“Now they are after actors… see what they have done to Aamir Khan,” she said.

“Let me make it clear that I have in no way ‘reconsidered’ my decision. My protest and that of other writers continues against the continuing attacks on freedom of expression,” Sehgal said in a letter to the secretary of the Akademi.

She reminded the literature body that she had returned the award in protest against the “Akademi’s silence over the murder of the Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and earlier of Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare in Maharashtra”.

She said it is the literature body which seems to have done some reconsidering since its letter says that the Akademi has no policy of accepting returned awards.

“It is a pity that the Akademi has taken so many months to make this statement of policy. The cheque I sent you in October is in any case no longer valid,” the letter reads.

She said if they are returning the now invalid cheque the decision was theirs and not hers.

On the death of Rohith Vemula, the Dalit student who committed suicide at the University of Hyderabad, she said, “What happened in Hyderabad is murder and government is silent”

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