Amid attacks on its credibility following the ‘award wapasi’ controversy, Sahitya Akademi Thursday announced its annual awards in 23 languages, with the winner in Bangla to be announced later.
Among the winning books are six poetry collections, four novels and six books of short stories, besides two books each of essays and criticism.
“The awards were recommended by distinguished jury members representing 23 Indian languages and approved by the Executive Board of the Akademi, under its President Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari,” the Akademi’s Secretary K Sreenivasa Rao said.
The award — comprising a plaque and a cheque of Rs 1 lakh — will be presented to the writers at a function on February 16 next year.
The Akademi also announced Bhasha Samman award to scholar Shrikant Bahulkar, in recognition of his contribution to classical and medieval literature.
Over the past few months, 39 writers have returned their awards to protest against the Akademi’s silence on assaults on writers and scholars, and “rising intolerance” in the country.
On Thursday, the Akademi noted that 35 writers have returned their award money but the Akademi has not accepted it. “We have received cheques by 35 authors but have decided not to deposit them, to establish the refusal to accept the return of awards,” Rao said.