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Writers turn rebel, protest against ‘intolerance’

Protesting against rising intolerance in the society, 16 eminent writers have returned prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award


Sudheendra Kulkarni’s face blackened by Shiv Sena for hosting ex-Pakistan minister’s book launch

Ace Indian writers are returning their prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award, a strong mark of protest against rising intolerance and attempts to curb free speech in the society. The crisis, which is fast growing into a movement, started when writer Nayantara Sahgal, author of Rich Like Us, returned the award last week over Sahitya Akademi’s silence on lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri and murder of author MM Kalburgi. Following her, 16 writers including Sara Joseph, Uday Prakash, Ashok Vajpeyi , Gurbachan Bhullar, Ajmer Singh Aulakh, Atamjit Singh, Mangalesh Dabral, Ghulam Nabi Khayal and Rajesh Joshi have disowned India’s biggest literary award.

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“There are times in history when you have to stand up and be counted. This is one of them,” Nayantara Sahgal has told The Indian Express. The move appears to be dissent over increasing number of incidents where liberal and rational views have been attacked by fundamentalists.

In a separate incident, Sudheendra Kulkarni, columnist and politician who has played multiple roles in BJP, was attacked by Shiv Sena for organising book launch of a Pakistan’s former minister.

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