Rajasthani writer Nand Bhardwaj returns Sahitya Akademi award

At least 29 authors including Nayantara Sahgal and Ashok Vajpeyi have decided to return their Akademi awards and five writers have stepped down from official positions of the literary body.

October 15, 2015 04:12 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 05:19 am IST - Jaipur

Rajasthani writer Nand Bhardwaj is seen with the Sahitya Akademi award he received in 2004 at his residence in Jaipur on Thursday. Photo: Rohit Jain Paras

Rajasthani writer Nand Bhardwaj is seen with the Sahitya Akademi award he received in 2004 at his residence in Jaipur on Thursday. Photo: Rohit Jain Paras

Eminent Rajasthani and Hindi writer and former Director of Doordarshan Nand Bhardwaj joined several other Sahitya Akademi award winners in their protest against the increasing instances of religious intolerance in the country and the killings of writers to curb freedom of expression.

In a letter to the Akademi, Mr. Bhardwaj wrote that it was “sad to witness the silence of the Akademi over the increasing number of attacks on writers”.

Mr. Bhardwaj appreciated the Akademi award winners who had returned their awards to protest against the instances of violence and killings depicting the religious intolerance in the country.

In the letter he mentioned about his decision to join the writers in their protest by returning the Akademi award that he received in the year 2004 for his Rajasthani novel Samhi Khulto Marag.

PTI adds:

In the letter, he also attached a cheque for Rs. 50,000 which he got with the award in 2004 and sent the “prateek chinh” (logo) separately.

“My sentiments are hurt the way M.M. Kalburgi was shot dead and Akademi is unable to do anything to protect the rights of writers and not even expressed any condolence on this serious issue,” said the former DD Director, while showing his letter to mediapersons.

Not only writers the common man’s feeling were also threatened in the present scenario where freedom of expression has been facing fundamentalist and communal challenges, he alleged.

“This is a protest against religious and creative intolerance which is rising in recent time,” he added.

Mr. Bhardwaj is also the Rajasthan coordinator for Jaipur Literature Festivals, since its inception.

With this, at least 29 authors including >Nayantara Sahgal and >Ashok Vajpeyi have decided to return their Akademi awards and five writers have >stepped down from official positions of the literary body, which in turn has convened an emergency meeting on October 23, 2015 to discuss the developments.

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