Sahitya Akademi’s resolution brings no lasting solution

With the present leadership continuing, these writers would now find it difficult to have any association with the Akademi.

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | Published: October 23, 2015 10:26 pm
Sahitya Akademi, Sahitya Akademi awards, Sahitya Akademi award winners, Writers protest, Sahitya Akademi writers, Art historian Rainer Rochlitz, Jawaharlal Nehru, IE columnist The Sahitya Akademi is India’s premier institution of letters, with a stated commitment to “promoting Indian literature throughout the world”.

The resolution of the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi confirmed the moral pressure writers exerted on the institution as they forced the Akademi’s chairperson into holding an emergency meeting.

While the resolution was not a political statement against the central government, as the writers had demanded, the Akademi did ask the government to ensure security for writers. Coming from an institution, whose office-bearers have refrained from speaking against the government, the statement helped to defuse the immediate crisis.

However, the Akademi ignored the most crucial issue, returning of the awards by writers. All it has done is make a mere request to them to take back the awards. Since many of them have categorically said that they will not reconsider their decision, the fate of the cheques they have returned, lying with the Akademi, is still uncertain.

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The resolution also expressed its confidence in the present leadership, defying stalwarts like Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi and Amitav Ghosh who blamed that the leadership for its failure to act as the custodian of creativity. Many writers believed that the present crisis had emerged because the Akademi did not take speak up when required.

With the present leadership continuing, these writers would now find it difficult to have any association with the Akademi.

Considering the fact that some of the office-bearers have strongly disapproved of the protest of the writers, even termed it “ho-halla”, the tussle between the Akademi and the writers might snowball into a recurring confrontation, a situation that would only harm the institution.

The present resolution might soothe some tempers, it brings no lasting solution.

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  1. B
    Oct 24, 2015 at 4:42 am
    This dis-functional organization may gain some credibility if it clarify its stand on beef eating by Hindus and punishing anyone for eating beef; as those are the issues that started it all. Murder of rationalists are part of such straight and honest talking.
    1. I
      Oct 24, 2015 at 2:59 am
      Divakar, I am so sorry, I misspelt your family name.
      1. N
        Oct 23, 2015 at 11:16 pm
        Sahitya Akademi was consuted to promote literature of value in languages of India. It is not supposed to be a trade union of writers. There is no need to capitulate to blackmail of writers' cartel. If given sufficient time, this feigned outrage will die on its own. Meanwhile Sahitya Akademi should do what it is meant for, promote quality literature.
        1. Divakar Shenoy
          Oct 23, 2015 at 10:14 pm
          When RSS volunteers were killed in Kannur by CPI ( M ) goons, the Sahitya Academy Award winners did not protest. Four senior volunteers of Vivekananda Education Mission were abducted and killed, these people were happy sharing their dais with powers to be. When there was macre of Sikhs in many places, these people were happy accepting awards. These shameless award returnees were having memory failure when Satanic Verses was banned. They were deep asleep when Taslima Nasreen was hauled and her book Lajja was banned. Kalburgi has become their rallying point. If they have any sense, they should protest in front of Sonia Ghandi's house or in front of Congress Hq. He was killed in a state ruled by Congress. Same thing is true for Dhabolkar. When Mr. Ananatmurthy was exploiting young female students at Manasagangotri, Mysore these people had no guts to mention it. Because he was writing against Hindu ethos. How many of them supported Dr. Shivarama Karanth and S.L. Bhaiprappa ? None of of these Sickular authors. These were court jesters of Congress or Communists and were awarded undeserving. If they have ant respect, along with return of award and award money, they should have asked Sahitya Academy to withdraw and destroy any publication of them made by the academy. We know very well that these are the writers whose books nobody buys and were and are dependent on crumbs thrown at them by their masters. Now for them it is paying back time. They have to show their loyalty and exactly that these slaves are doing.
          1. T
            Thrinethran T
            Oct 24, 2015 at 5:11 am
            And whilst appealing to the govt for security to authors and rationalists, the Akademi should caution them against crossing certain limits, such as the late Mr Kalburgi did in describing how he had urinated on Hindu idols.
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