Returning awards not right way to protest, say Bengal writers

"What has happened is highly condemnable... But I don't think this is the right kind of protest for such demeaning actions," Chakraborty told PTI.

By: PTI | Kolkata | Updated: October 14, 2015 7:10 pm

Some eminent writers and Sahitya Akademi award winners from West Bengal today did not agree that returning awards was the correct way to protest against Dadri lynching and attacks against rationalists, saying protests should be organised on a mass scale. Veteran Bengali poet Nirendranath Chakraborty, who won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1974 for “Ulanga Raja” described the return of the award by writers and poets as a “very feeble form” of protest against a matter which is “highly condemnable”.

“What has happened is highly condemnable… But I don’t think this is the right kind of protest for such demeaning actions. I don’t agree with this manner of protest. It’s a very feeble form of protest and seems to be like a child’s play,” Chakraborty told PTI.

According to the 87-year-old poet, because of the fact that Sahitya Akademi is an autonomous body, return of awards bestowed by it will not address their concern. Instead, he said, protests should be organised on a mass scale involving people irrespective of their age and class making them understand why and what for they should be involved in such demonstrations.

Echoing Chakraborty’s words, another Sahitya Academi award winning poet Shankha Ghosh said he did not agree to returning awards, but “there are other ways to lodge your protest”. “I feel those who are returning their awards could have protested in a different way as Sahitya Akademi is not a government body,” he told PTI.

“And the awards were not given by the present government… Give me a reason why I should return an award which was given to me some 40 years ago?” the 83-year-old poet, who received the Sahitya Akademi award in 1977 for “Babarer Prarthana”, wanted to know.

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  1. B
    Balaji Canchi
    Oct 14, 2015 at 8:33 pm
    I have been watching the drama of a few of your Awardees who are performing their best acting skills in the last few weeks in connection with the so called 'in-tolerance' with other communities by returning the awards back. By the way, have you have any 'Best Performance Award' for such Actors? Please kindly enlighten me from some of your scholars in your Academy that what these 'performing actors' were doing when such incidents took place previously during Congress regime? Why only 'religious in-tolerance'? Why not 'cast and community in-tolerance' too? When they return their Award in the protest of 'so called in-tolerance', are they returning the award money also? Are they ready to bring their fame and name back, that they got from the award? How about rejecting their job and their income also to support the cause? How about going on fasting in hian way to show their solidarity to the cause? The common public like me know very well about these performing actors and who are the people doing the 'Direction' job. Let them not waste their time in this and concentrate some useful and constructive work for this great country! This country needs their peerless writing not their mere acting, is the bottom line. Jai Hind!
    1. M
      Oct 15, 2015 at 5:33 am
      Years back when media&communication was not advanced, the princeling intellectuals had full command over the mes. The colonials rulers had managed to blackout the news about their loot and atrocities through the intellectual stooges who were more than willing to whitewash the whiteman's sins. Even hiji was brainwashed by agents of Rothschild and was brought to India to neutralize the freedom struggle. and make is pive The media promoted hiji and soon he replaced Tilak as m leader. The English educated barrister soon became a hindu philosopher and replaced Aurobindo. The gfather of Rabindranath Tagore (Dwarakanath Tagore) became filthy rich through his ociation with Opium traders. RajaRam Mohan Roy became rich through opium trade. But our text books say that he was a social reformer. Amartya Sen got Nobel prize for whitewashing the whiteman's sins. In 2008 the election campaigners Burka and Rajdeep were awarded with Padma Awards for white washing the dynasty
      1. S
        Oct 14, 2015 at 11:15 pm
        If people protests on BJP, they fire back, irrespective of profession. Any political party has to go under scrutiny. BJP can not dare even. It is true some writers returned, may be one could have been from Kerala even, she is christian and she may not like beef ban, what is wrong in that? What the incident in Dadri tells? Let people realise. Why not Indians seek freedom of eating, clothing, education etc. Returning award is indeed a good decision. Because if a central govt thinks ban of food( meat) is need of the hour, one can not remain silent at all, In Bengal, writers do not eat beef, but they eat meat and fish, if tomorrow ban goes in Bengal, will they keep quiet?