The Sahitya Akademi awards for the year 2020 were announced on March 12, 2021. Among the winners from south Indian languages are Tamil writer Imaiyam’s novel Sellaatha Panam, former Karnataka Chief Minister M Veerappa Moily’s Epic poetry Sri Bahubali Ahimsa Digvijayam, and Telugu poet Nikhileswar’s poetry collection Agniswaasa (2015-2017). Award for works in Malayalam language is yet to be announced.
Published in 2018, Imayam’s Sellaatha Panam is the story of a woman who married outside her caste. The book is considered to be among his finest works. Imayam, who has won Tamil Nadu government’s Thamizh Thendral Thiru Vi Ka Award, Amudhan Adigal Literature Award, to name a few, published his first book called Koveru Kazhudhaigal in 1994. This book that has also been translated into English brought him great acclaim.
M Veerappa Moily’s Sri Bahubali Ahimsa Digvijayam released in 2018 was an epic poetry on the life of Jain saint Bahubali who was also known as Kammateswara.
Jury members for Kannada language works were Aravind Malagathy, Dr Padma Prasad and Dr SG Siddaramayya. For Tamil it was Dr U Alibava, Kalayana Sundaram aka Vannathasan and Dr M Thirumalai. Telugu works were judged by Professor Kalakaluri Enoch, Dr K Ramachandra Murthy and Professor SV Satyanarayana.
Awards under Bal Sahitya Puraskar and Yuva Puraskar categories too were announced on Friday.
Bal Sahitya Puraskar award for Kannada language was won by Nanoo Ambedkar, a novel by HS Byakod. In Telugu the award was won by Kanneganti Anasuya for Snehitulu, a collection of short stories. Awards for works in Malayalam and Tamil are yet to be declared under this category.
As for the Yuva Puraskar category, KS Mahadevaswamy’s Dhoopada Makkalu, a collection of short stories won in the Kannada language. In Tamil, it was Shakti’s Mara Naai (poetry) and in Telugu it was Manasa Yendluri’s Milinda (short story collection).
Sahitya Akademi awards 2020 are given for works published between January 2014 and December 2018. The award comes with a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque, a shawl and an amount of Rs one lakh, all of which will be presented during the presentation ceremony.