Akademi breaks silence, condemns killing of writers

Besides expressing solidarity with the writers, Akademi also urged authors to take back their returned awards

New Delhi: Yielding to unrelenting protests by writers, the Sahitya Akademi yesterday strongly condemned the killing of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and others, while urging litterateurs to take back awards they have returned even as protests and counter protests were held outside its headquarters.

Writers and activists sport black gags and arm bands at a solidarity march, ahead of the emergency meeting of Sahitya Akademi in New Delhi yesterday. Pic/PTI
Writers and activists sport black gags and arm bands at a solidarity march, ahead of the emergency meeting of Sahitya Akademi in New Delhi yesterday. Pic/PTI

Breaking its silence, the Akademi took to pacifying the authors who accused it of not speaking out against the killings of writers and rationalists besides on incidents like Dadri lynching and ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni.

At an emergency board meet, the Akademi expressed solidarity with the writers urging those authors who had returned awards conferred by it to take them back and appealed to those who have stepped down from various Akademi posts to take back their resignations.

The Akademi is ‘deeply pained and strongly condemns the murder of Prof MM Kalburgi and the other intellectuals and thinkers. As the only autonomous institution of Indian literature in all its diversities, the Akademi firmly supports the writers right to freedom of expression in all the languages of India and condemns any atrocity against any writer anywhere in the country,’ it stated in a resolution. The Akademi also asked the State and Central governments to take immediate action to bring the culprits to book and ensure the security of writers now and in future.

“The Akademi appeals to state and central government to take steps to prevent such incidents in the future”, Krishnaswamy Nachimuthu, an executive committee board member from Tamil Nadu said emerging from the meet. 20 out of 24 executive council members attended the meet.

Sporting black gags and arm bands, several writers and their supporters held a solidarity march before the meet and submitted a memo to the Akademi chair.

20
Number of executive council members who attended the meet

Dalit writer assaulted

Bengaluru: Amid continuing countrywide protests by writers over ‘rising intolerance’, a young Dalit activist and writer was allegedly attacked by unidentified men whom he suspects to be right-wing activists, for his ‘anti-Hindu’ writings at Davangere in central Karnataka. Huchangi Prasad, a 23-year-old student and author of a book ‘Odala Kichchu’ which speaks against the caste system, alleged that he was assaulted on Wednesday and threatened that his fingers would be cut for writing against Hinduism. “On October 21, a group of eight to nine persons came to SC/ST hostel where I reside and told me that my mother was unwell. Worried I followed them. They took me to a place and started threatening and assaulting me for writing against Hinduism and caste system,” said Prasad.

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