Gujarat-based literary critic and author Ganesh N. Devy has returned his Sahitya Akademi award that was given to him in recognition of his book "After Amnesia".
Prof. Devy informed the national Sahitya Akademi on Sunday about his decision to return the award citing silence on the brutal killing of rationalist and academician scholar M.M. Kalburgi in August this year and also expressing solidarity with other writers and authors who have returned their awards.
"I also feel the pain at increasing intolerance and shrinking space for dissent and free expression in the country," Prof. Devy told The Hindu .
"I do this as an expression of my solidarity with several eminent writers who have recently returned their awards to highlight their concern and anxiety over the shrinking space for free expression and growing intolerance towards difference of opinion," he stated in the letter addressed to the president of Sahitya Akademi.
According to Prof. Devy, the idea of India is based on a profound tolerance for diversity and difference, and they far surpass everything else in importance.
"That we have come to a stage when the honourable Rastrapatiji had to remind the nation that these must be seen as non-negotiable foundations of India, should be enough of a reason for the Sahitya Akademi to act."
"May I make bold to say that your moment of reckoning has come? I hope you will give this country the assurance that it is the writers and thinkers who have come forward to rescue sense, good-will, values, tolerance and mutual respect in all past ages."