12 Oct, 2015
Three Punjabi writers and an author from Gujarat announced on Sunday they will return their Sahitya Akademi awards to protest against the government’s “onslaught on freedom of expression”. Playwrights Ajmer Aulakh and Atamjit and author Waryam Sandhu joined the dissenters in the literary fraternity who have either surrendered their coveted awards or quit the Akademi in protest against what they said “rising intolerance” in the backdrop of the murders of noted rationalists as well as the Dadri lynching incident.
Ganesh Devy, a leading author from Gujarat and a tribal rights activist, too said he will return his award. Delivering another blow to the Akademi, Kannada writer Aravind Malagatt resigned from the body’s general council on Sunday. Questioning the government the premier body’s silence, many in the literary fraternity have raised their voices against the murders of Kannada writer and Sahitya Akademi Award winner MM Kalburgi and anti-superstition activists Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, both from Maharashtra.