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Sahitya Akademi awards 2015 announced

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New Delhi: Novelist Cyrus Mistry and poet Ramdarash Mishra were among the winners of the Sahitya Akademi award announced here on Thursday.

Six books of short stories, six of poetry, four novels, two books each of essays, criticism, plays and one of the memoirs have won Sahitya Akademi awards, an official release said.

The awards were recommended by distinguished jury members representing 23 Indian languages and approved by the executive board of the Akademi.

Famous poets honored with the award for 2015 are Brajendra Kumar Brahma (Bodo), Dhian Singh (Dogri), Ramdarash Mishra (Hindi), K.V. Tirumalesh (Kannada), Kshetri Rajan (Manipuri) and Ram Shankar Awasthi (Sanskrit).

Six writers awarded for their short stories are Kula Saikia (Assamese), Man Mohan Jha (Maithili), Gupta Pradhan (Nepali), Bibhuti Pattanaik (Odia), Maya Rahi (Sindhi) and Volga (Telugu).

The award-winning novelists are Cyrus Mistry (English), Jaswinder Singh (Punjabi) and Madhu Acharya ‘Ashawadi’ (Rajasthani).

Rasik Shah (Gujarati) and A. Madhavan (Tamil) have been awarded for their essays, Uday Bhembre (Konkani), Rabilal Tudu (Santali) for their plays, Bashir Bhadarwahi (Kashmiri) and Shamim Tariq (Urdu) for their books on criticism and Arun Khopkar (Marathi) for his book on memoirs. (IANS) (Picture Courtesy: www.oneindia.com)

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Renowned Classical Singer Kishori Amonkar passes away at 84

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Classical Singer Kishori Amonkar (middle), Twitter

Mumbai, April 4, 2017: Renowned classical singer Kishori Amonkar passed away shortly before midnight, family sources said here on Tuesday.

She was 84 and breathed her last at her Dadar west home.

In her singing career spanning seven decades, she was revered as ‘Gaan-Saraswati’. Belonging to the Jaipur Gharana, she was conferred the Padma Vibhushan and Sahitya Akademi Award among many others.

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A widow, she is survived by two sons and grandchildren.

Veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar said she was depply pained to hear about Amonkar’s demise. “She was a unique and extraordinary classical singer. Her demise spells a huge loss for the world of music.”

Her funeral will be held on Tuesday evening at Shivaji Park Crematorium. (IANS)

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Modi government is not open-minded: Nayantara Sahgal

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Kolkata: Author Nayantara Sahgal on Saturday criticised the Narendra Modi government for not being open-minded and termed the current situation of “attack on dissent” as the “Indian brand of fascism”.

Sahgal criticised Modi government when she was attending the discussion during the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet.

The way things are proceeding now, under Hindutva, I am just waiting for the day when the culture minister puts sarees on the naked statues at Khajuraho… so that might happen too,

Launching a scathing attack on the Modi government, she said former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was open-minded but under the present regime, there was no space for discussions and debates.

Vajpayee was a man with an open mind. The present regime is not open-minded. Hindutva, which is the ruling ideology today, not only is it not Hindusim but we were never told during the last election that this was going to be the ruling policy. The last election was all about development,

 

Sahgal was one of the first authors to return her Sahitya Akademi award in protest against “growing intolerance” in the country.

Dissent is under attack and by that, I mean it is either greeted with sticks and stones or with black paint or with murder,

The government is either silent, which is its answer to this horrible problem or it is defending its Hindutva ideology which is not Hinduism. Hindutva is a very narrow concept which says ‘thou shalt not have other gods before me’.

 

“I think this is the situation we are in today and this is a very dangerous situation for any country. I call it the Indian brand of fascism.”

Asked whether one has the right to offend somebody through one’s works, Sahgal asserted that one has the right to do so with non-violence.

We have the right to give offence in writing, through painting or any form of art or scientific discoveries but the point is in a democratic society all this must proceed with non-violence. Violence is being used by those who do not like disagreement and this must be stopped,

Sahgal, India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s niece, stressed it was not the time to pull back from hurting sentiments.

We have to hurt sentiments. It is high time that we hurt sentiments. If we had been worrying about hurting sentiments we would still be burning widows,

The author also drew attention to the trend of mob censorship.

Censorship used to apply to books, to films and things of that sort. But today it is the mob that decides what is going to be censored,

On the Modi government declassifying files on Subhas Chandra Bose, Sahgal stuck to the plane crash (in 1945) theory of death.

The whole truth about Netaji is he died in that crash and nobody needs to be concerned about anything else, better tell Modi … Bose died in that plane crash,

She also refuted the Sahitya Akademi’s claim that she had agreed to take back the award she had returned in protest.

“The Sahitya Akademi has suddenly decided that it is not their policy to accept returned awards. So why did they not say so three months ago?” she posed.

(Inputs from IANS)

(Picture Courtesy:www.thefrustratedindian.com)

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Ashok Vajpeyi refuses to reclaim his Sahitya Akademi Award

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Jaipur: Veteran poet Ashok Vajpeyi said on Saturday he wouldn’t reclaim the award he has returned to Sahitya Akademi citing intolerance in the country.

Vajpayee’s assertion comes as writer Nayantara Sahgal refuted the Akademi’s claims that she had reclaimed her award. On Thursday, Akademi said that two writers, including Sahgal, have agreed to reclaim their awards.

While speaking on the sidelines of Jaipur Literature festival, Vajpeyi said that he has no intention of reclaiming the award back as intolerance still prevails in the country.

 

I gave up my award against growing intolerance, I don’t think it has come down, The suicide of the Dalit student in Hyderabad University is one form of intolerance against Dalits,

 

He also questioned the Akademi’s handling of the issue.

The Akademi passed a resolution recently saying that they can’t accept the awards. It took three months for them to inform us about the policy. This is absurd. They can throw the awards in the dustbin,

 

Contrary to Akademi claims, Sahgal issued a statement on www.indianculturalforum.in on Friday saying that she hasn’t reclaimed her award.

Let me make it clear: I am not taking back either the award or the cheque, which is now invalid anyway. My protest against the crushing of dissent stands, and I shall continue to speak and act for the freedom of expression,

Vajpeyi has also returned D.Litt degree awarded by Hyderabad University to protest against the suicide of Ph.D. student Rohith Vemula.

I returned the degree as the university’s action had driven a Dalit student to commit suicide. I didn’t want a degree awarded by that university,

 

Vajpeyi also flayed the delayed response of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “PM’s response came four days late. He made the issue into the pain of a losing son. The PM never touched the Dalit issue. I appreciate the fact that he has broken his silence. Maybe the tears are for real,” said the poet.

(Inputs from IANS)

(Picture courtesy: www.oneindia.com)