Author Salman Rushdie on Monday joined the growing chorus of protests by leading writers against spread of “communal poison” and “rising intolerance” in the country even as seven more authors decided to return their Sahitya Akademi awards.
“I support Nayantara Sahgal and the many other writers protesting to the Sahitya Akademi. Alarming times for free expression in India,” Mr. Rushdie tweeted.
Ms. >Sahgal was among the first to lodge her 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, Kannada writer-translator Srinath D N, Hindi writers Mangalesh Dabral and Rajesh Joshi said they were handing back their awards.
Punjabi author Waryam Sandhu and Kannada translator G.N. Ranganatha Rao said they have intimated to the Akademi their decision to give back their awards.
The >Akademi has called for a meeting of the Executive Board on October 23.
Sahitya Akademi president Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari had said that the institution was committed to the core secular values enshrined in the Constitution of India.