The Telangana Rachayithala Vedika (Telangana Writers’ Forum), at a press conference here on Wednesday, severely condemned Telangana Sahitya Akademi president Nandini Sidha Reddy’s alleged comment that the forum has outlived its utility, and should be shut down.
Mr. Sidha Reddy is said to have made the comment at a meeting organised by the Telangana Rachayithala Sangham on June 30, with the import that the forum formed 19 years ago has no relevance now, as the separate statehood has been realised now.
State president of the forum, Jayadhir Tirumala Rao, said the forum has been active by its ground work, and has reached out to many disadvantaged and oppressed groups, to prepare reports about how government’s policies were hurting their rights.
Stating that he was deeply pained by the comment, Mr. Tirumala Rao said Mr. Sidha Reddy’s comments were suggestive of danger to freedom of expression, and demanded to know at whose behest he made them. “The comment reeks of the notion that literature should always take the State’s side, and that only those who are felicitated by the State are eligible to be called writers. Telangana Sahitya Academi is a publicly-funded organisation, and should encourage writers who lend voice to people,” he said.
Eminent teacher and former MLC Chukka Ramaiah too condemned the comment and said writers from the forum have lent their voice to the nomadic tribes who lacked script.