Joining the group of writers resigning their posts from the Sahitya Akademi, Kannada writer and researcher Dr. Aravind Malagatti today resigned from its General Council, condemning its ‘silence’ over the killing of progressive thinker and scholar M.M. Kalburgi.
“Yes I have resigned as member of the General Council and have sent a letter to the President and Secretary of the Akademi this morning,” Dr. Malagatti told.
“I have resigned condemning the >killing of Kalburgi and silence of Akademi over the issue. It should have spoken out and expressed its condemnation against such acts,” he said.
The 77-year-old vocal and outspoken rationalist Kalburgi, fell to the bullets of two unidentified men at his residence at Dharwad in north Karnataka, considered the state’s cultural capital on August 30.
“Killing of personalities like Kalburgi, (Govind) Pansare and incidents like Dadri lynching are an attack on the Constitutional rights in this country. They are highly condemnable,” Dr. Malagatti said.
Dr. Malagatti is among 20 representatives from various Universities in the General Council of the Sahitya Akademi.
He has worked in varied forms of Kannada literature like poetry, prose, essays, criticism and folklore study. Karnataka government has bestowed the prestigious Ambedkar Fellowship Award to him, considering his corpus of writing. His ‘Government Brahamana’ being the first Dalit autobiography in Kannada has got the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award.
Recently literary figures like >Shashi Deshpande , K Satchidanandan, P K Parakkadavu had resigned from their posts in the Akademi, citing similar reasons.
Eminent personalities like Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi and >Sara Joseph have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards.
At the state-level, six Kannada writers had earlier this month returned their awards to Kannada Sahitya Parishat, upset over the delay in arrest of Kalburgi’s killers.
Yesterday, eminent Malayalam writer Sarah Joseph and Urdu novelist Rahman Abbas had announced they would return the Sahitya Akademi award and the Maharashtra State Urdu Sahitya Akademi award respectively, joining a growing protest against ’rising intolerance’ in the backdrop of murder of noted rationalists and Dadri lynching incident.
The announcement had come on a day, when Malayalam poet K. Satchidanandan decided to quit all posts in the Akademi, in protest against the murder of Kalburgi. Another Malayalam short story writer P.K. Parakkadavu had also said he would quit the Akademi membership.