We recently reported that several writers returned their Sahitya Akademi Awards after author Nayantara Sahgal started the initiative last week to voice her protest against the “vicious assault” on India’s diversity and on issues like the murder of eminent Kannada writer MM Kalburgi.
While many writers including Kashmiri writer Ghulam Nabi Khayal, Urdu novelist Rahman Abbas and Kannada writer-translator Srinath DN came in support of Sahgal’s initiative, noted Hindi writer Mridula Garg has taken a different stance and in a statement to a leading English daily said that by returning their awards, writers were equating the Akademi, an autonomous body, with the government and they should not do so.
What is more, many writers have resigned from their post at the Akademi, and Garg fears that if writers kept on resigning from the Akademi board, the government might take the opportunity and appoint their own representative onto the board.
Thus, even after being in support of the cause, Garg urged the writers to wait for Akademi’s emergency meeting instead of dissolving it by resigning.
Though the resignation might be a growing concern for Garg, according to DNA, only four members of the prestigious board have officially resigned. What is more, they further add that they received mails from only four authors about returning their awards.
While talking to DNA, Akademi secretary K Srinivasarao said:
“We have received letters from Uday Prakash, Ashok Vajpeyi and e-mails from Aman Sethi and GN Devy. The other resignations I am hearing about in the media.”