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21 writers have given up Sahitya awards

21 writers have given up Sahitya awards
Highlights

The ongoing wave of resignations was unleashed after 88-year-old Nayantara Sahgal, niece of Jawaharlal Nehru, decided to lodge a protest against the Akademi’s silence over repeated attacks on writers and rationalists who were raising their voice of dissent.

The ongoing wave of resignations was unleashed after 88-year-old Nayantara Sahgal, niece of Jawaharlal Nehru, decided to lodge a protest against the Akademi’s silence over repeated attacks on writers and rationalists who were raising their voice of dissent.


Kashmiri writer Ghulam Nabi Khayal, Urdu novelist Rahman Abbas and Kannada writer-translator Srinath D.N. said they would hand back their Sahitya awards.

Khayal and Srinath were joined by Hindi writers Mangalesh Dabral and Rajesh Joshi. who backed the spiralling protest by litterateurs against the “communal” atmosphere following rationalist M.M. Kalburgi’s killing.

Punjabi author Waryam Sandhu and Kannada translator G.N. Ranganatha Rao said they had told the Akademi of their decision to give back their awards. Delhi theatre artiste Maya Krishna Rao returned her Sangeet Natak Akademi award to protest against the Dadri lynching and the “overall rising intolerance” in the country. She voiced disappointment over the government’s failure to “speak up for the rights of citizens”.

Four more writers and poets from Punjab — Surjit Pattar, Baldev Singh Sadaknama, Jaswinder and Darshan Buttar — on Monday joined the protests over communal violence and said they were also returning their awards as a mark of protest.

With this, at least 21 authors and poets have announced their decision to return their awards, with some warning that the minorities in the country today feel “unsafe and threatened”.
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