‘Bold, Symbolic’: Teltumbde, Navlakha Awarded Shakti Bhatt Prize

The two are accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case and were arrested in April this year.

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Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha.

Activists and scholars Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde have been jointly awarded the 2020 Shakti Bhatt Prize for their body of work.

The two are accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case and were arrested in April this year. While Teltumbde has written a number of books including Republic of Caste and Dalits: Past, Present and Future, Navlakha has authored Days and Nights in the Heartland of Rebellion.

NEW 2020 SHAKTI BHATT PRIZE TO ANAND TELTUMBDE AND GAUTAM NAVLAKHA For twelve years the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize...

Posted by Jeet Thayil on Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Teltumbde and several other civil liberties activists were booked under stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly having Maoist links and conspiring to overthrow the government.

The activists were booked initially by the Pune Police following the violence that erupted at Koregaon-Bhima.

As per the police, the activists had made inflammatory speeches and provocative statements at the Elgar Parishad meet held in Pune on 31 December 2017, which it said triggered violence the next day.

The police also said they were active members of banned Maoist groups. The case was later transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

‘Bold, Symbolic’

Many on Twitter lauded the award of the prize to the two scholars, calling it a "bold statement" and "symbolic".

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