Hindi writer to return Sahitya Akademi award

New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi Award 2010 in Hindi to Uday Prakash at a function in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: UDAY PRAKASH

Unwilling to “remain silent despite the risks involved in speaking out,” Hindi writer Uday Prakash on Friday decided to return his Sahitya Akademi award in protest against the murder of Kannada scholar and rationalist M.M. Kalburgi on Sunday last.

The former assistant professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University here announced his intent through a Facebook post in Hindi. Currently in a village in Chhattisgarh, he will officially communicate his decision to the Akademi and return the award money of Rs.1 lakh and the citation next week when he returns to the Capital.

Speaking to The Hindu over phone from Chhattisgarh, Mr. Prakash said he did not discuss his move with any other writer. “It is my decision and mine alone,” he said, though in his Facebook post he did articulate the hope that his friends would support him in this decision and stand by him as always.

Mr. Prakash also wrote that Prof. Kalburgi’s murder was part of a series of attacks on and instances of disrespect shown towards writers, artists, thinkers and intellectuals. While his post makes no mention of the two other rationalists killed over the past couple of years — Narendra Dhabolkar in August 2013 and Govind Pansare earlier this year — he held “Hindutva forces” responsible for Prof. Kalburgi’s murder.

“This cowardly act of terror shook me. This is not the time to remain silent to protect oneself. Silence will only embolden such forces,” Mr. Prakash said.

The Sahitya Akademi awarded him in 2010-11 for his collection of short stories, Mohan Das. Prof. Kalburgi was also an Akademi awardee.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 7:59:49 PM |

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