List of fifteen authors who have risen in protest against Kalburgi murder and Dadri lynching
news Saturday, October 10, 2015 - 19:02


The murder of Kannada scholar MM Kalburgi and the incident of the killing of a man by a mob on the suspicion of him having consumed beef in Uttar Pradesh have triggered off a series of resignations in the Sahitya Akademi, the premiere literary council of the nation.  Many writers have also returned awards given by various academies and government.

Here’s the full list of authors who have either resigned from their positions in the Sahitya Akademi or have given up their awards.

Hindi writer Uday Prakash was the first one to announce that he would return his Sahitya Akademi award. In the first week of September, he wrote, “This is not the moment to be silent and find a safe corner to hide in. Otherwise, these dangers will continue to rise.”

Kannada poet Professor Chandrashekhar Patil returned the Pampa Prashasti or Pampa Award, the highest literary award in Karnataka.

Eight writers from Ballari, Belagavi, Dharwad, Bagalkot, Mandya and other places returned the Aralu Prashasti given by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat in scholar MM Kalburgi's presence in 2011. Chidanand Sali, a writer from Raichur had told TOI: “I have also decided to return my award to protest the delay in arresting the culprits.” Veeranna Madiwalar, Satish Jawaregouda and Sridevi Alur are some of the other litterateurs. 

Nayantara Sahgal: The 88-year-old niece of former PM Jawaharlal Nehru was the first one to give away her award on Thursday citing the government’s silence after the Dadri lynching incident as the reason. In her open letter “Unmaking of India” she attacked the current central government for keeping silent over the matter and the lack of “right to dissent”. Earlier noted rationalist and author M. M Kalburgi was killed by right wing Hindu fundamentalists.

Ashok Vajpeyi followed suit swiftly and after Sahgal gave her award, the noted poet in his statement clarified that “It’s high time that writers take a stand.”    

Shashi Deshpande: The Padma Shri  awardee also gave up her position in the council on Friday citing her strong  sense of disappointment with the institution’s failure to protest against the violence its patrons were subjected to.

Sarah Joseph: The noted feminist author Sarah Joseph announced on Saturday that she would return the Sahitya Akademi award. She cited ‘the rising tide of intolerance in the country’ while making her decision.

 K Satchidanandan also resigned on Friday today stating the literary body had ‘failed’ in its duty to stand with writers and uphold freedom of expression.