A day after Ganesh Devy returned his Sahitya Akademi award, an intelligence officer showed up at his home, the Vadodra-based writer and linguist has said. The officer wanted to know if Devy’s decision was part of a movement to “cause disaffection for the state”, the writer said.
“I’ve lived in Gujarat for 35 years, seen some good and terrible times too. It is normal for the police to visit people for information gathering. It is their way to ascertain the opinion of people who can influence others, when something that can be perceived as a threat to the state’s authority takes place. I am visited at least once or twice a year,” said Devy, who won the award in 1992 for his book After Amnesia.
On Monday, the writer received a call, followed by a visit to his house by a police officer. “The officer asked me if my move was motivated, and I showed her the letter I had written to the Sahitya Akademi,” said Devy.
Devy did not term the visit as an act of intimidation on part of the state, but said, “It was to let me know I don’t live on an island.”
Rajasthani author returns award
Jaipur: Renowned Rajasthani author Nand Bhardwaj became the first author from the state to return his Sahitya Akademi award in protest against “increasing religious intolerance” and “attacks on freedom of expression”. Bhardwaj had won the award in 2004. ENS