Sahitya Akademi Condemns Cases Of Intolerance, Asks Writers To Take Back Awards

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
| October 23 , 2015 , 14:33 IST
Sahitya Akademi on Friday broke its silence over the the returning of awards by eminent authors in protest against "rising intolerance" in the backdrop of MM Kalburgi's killing. The Akademi, after an emergency meeting, condemned the recent cases of intolerance including the murder of Kalburgi. Akademi also asked writers to take back their awards. "Akademi unanimously decided that writers who have returned awards should take them back, people who have resigned should join back," said K Nachimuthu, convenor of Sahiyta Akademi. Akademi also asked the government to be more vigilant in the future so such incidents are not repeated. Earlier, many writers staged a solidarity march, with black gags and arm bands, in New Delhi ahead of the Sahitya Akademi emergency meeting. Writers from different languages converged for the silent march carrying huge banners from Sri Ram Centre at Safdar Hashmi Marg to the Sahitya Akademi building, where they submitted a memorandum to the Akademi demanding that it pass a resolution pledging to take stern steps to safeguard the freedom of speech and right to dissent of the writers. At least 35 writers from across the country had over the past few weeks announced their decision to return their Sahitya Akademi awards and stepped down from official Akademi positions to protest the "rising intolerance" in the country. Akademi chairman Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari accepted the memorandum and said "it will be considered" in the meeting. "The executive council of the Akademi should pass a resolution that it will take stern steps to safeguard the freedom of speech and right to dissent of the writers," the memorandum said. The protesters have also criticised Tiwari's recent statements in which he dubbed as "illogical" the act of several writers returning their awards. They also called for a written apology from Mr Tiwari against statements he had made about Akademi award winning writers having made gains from their award royalties. "A delegation of 13 Hindi-Urdu writers had met the representatives of the Akademi on September 16 to demand for a 'shok sabha' but the Akademi denied to do so," the memorandum said. The writers said if the Akademi does not conduct a condolence meet for Kalburgi in Delhi, they will demand Tiwari's resignation. The protest march was convened by five groups - Janvadi Lekhak Sangh, Pragatisheel Lekhak Sangh, Jansanskriti Manch, Dalit Lekhak Sangh and Sahitya Sanvad.