Malayalam novelist Sarah Joseph said on Friday that religious intolerance in the country still persists and hence the issue of taking back the Sahitya Akademi award does not arise.
Joseph, who had returned the Kendra Sahitya Akademi award in protest against the terror-like situation in the country, was reacting to the Academy resolution asking writers to take back the awards they had returned.
“By giving back the award, I have registered my strong protest against growing religious intolerance. The situation has only worsened after the writers marked their protest. Hence, it would be a great blunder if I decide to take back the returned award,” Joseph said.
- Upset by legal wrangle, Sahitya Akademi winner Aniruddhan Vasudevan declines award
- Several writers including Nayantara Sahgal to take back Sahitya Akademi award
- Upset over Kalburgi killing, Kannada writer Aravind Malagatti resigns from Sahitya Akademi
- Two more writers return Sahitya Akademi awards, another resigns
- Now, Malayalam novelist Sarah Joseph returns her Sahitya Academy award
- Sahitya Akademi urges writers to keep awards, tells govt it wants ‘peaceful coexistence’
She said the Akademi was forced to adopt this belated resolution after writers put strong pressure.
“We had protested against the silence of the Akademi. It is a relief that the Akademi has taken such a move, although belated,” she said.
She said the situation that prompted the writers to give back awards not only persists but has worsened further. The dog remark of Union Minister V K Singh shows that the mindset of intolerance remains very strong, she added.
Joseph, a feminist and writer, had bagged the award in 2003 for her novel Aalahayude Penmakkal.