Several writers’ groups along with the Indian Women’s Press Corps and the Press Club of India on Tuesday organised a protest meet in the Capital against “rising intolerance” in the country.
Defending the timing of returning their Sahitya Akademi awards, the writers said it was a time where the “fringe has become the mainstream”.
“It is being said about us that we got patronage from the last government, which is completely untrue,” said poet Manglesh Dabral, who had returned his Akademi award.
Besides Dabral, eminent writers, artists and journalists like Vishwanath Tripathi, Om Thanvi, Anand Swaroop Verma and writers’ groups like Jan Sanskriti Manch, Janwadi Lekhak Sangh, Progressive Writers’ Association (PWA), Dalit Lekhak Sangh and Sahitya Samwad participated in the protest meet.
Letters in solidarity from poet K Satchidanandan and writer Krishna Sobti were also read out. The organisations will hold a silent march wearing black bands on Friday from Shri Ram Centre to Sahitya Akademi, where an emergency meeting has been called.
Questioning the Sahitya Akademi’s silence, Krishna Sobti wrote a letter to the director Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, asking him to resign.
She quoted late U R Ananthamurthy, former director of the Sahitya Akademi, to say that the ideals of the Akademi were being violated.
Poet K Satchidanandan said the time had come for writers to chalk out “an action plan” for a concerted struggle before the “aggressive homogenisation” by right-wing groups ruined everything that was “cherished”.