Sahitya Akademi condemns intolerance, asks writers to take back awards


New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi on Friday passed a resolution after a special meeting with writers condemning the prevailing atmosphere of intolerance and violence in the country while unanimously asking the authors to take back their awards and withdraw resignations.

In its resolution, the Sahitya Akademi condemned the killing of rationalist M M Kalburgi and demanded action in this regard besides urging the Centre and state governments to work together.

Over 100 litterateurs have returned their Akademi awards to protest primarily against the attacks by some Hindutva groups on writers and thinkers like Kalburgi.

Meanwhile, nearly 100 writers took out a peaceful march here on Friday to protest against increasing intolerance in the country.

Writers from across the country gathered at Shri Ram Centre near Mandi House and marched towards Sahitya Akademi in the capital, wearing black ribbons on their heads as a sign of protest.

The writers said that the protest was to express their anger against the government for letting anti-social incidents happen and also to attract attention of the academy towards the increasing attacks on litterateurs.

The protest was organised just before Sahitya Akademi’s emergency meeting to discuss various issues.

“Freedom of expression and speech is currently being suppressed in the country. Whatever is happening in the country nowadays, people belonging to minorities and schedule caste feel insecure,” a writer said in the protest.

“The government must take some concrete steps to stop such incidents which shatter nation’s secular fabric. Sahitya Akademi should also pressurize the government and pass some resolution against increasing attacks on the writers,” the protester added.

Earlier this month several writers had returned their awards to register their protest against increasing intolerance in the country.

In an interesting turn of events, there was a protest by another group of writers against the protesting writers at the same venue.

(With inputs from IANS)