Nayantara Sahgal Denies Reports of Accepting Sahitya Award Back

Nayantara Sahgal and 9 other writers have agreed to take their awards back, says the Sahitya Akademi.

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Noted writer and Jawaharlal Nehru’s niece Nayantara Sahgal at the Bangalore Literature Festival. (Photo: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzTav9DeQOU">YouTube/BlrLitFest</a>)

10 of the nearly 40 writers who had returned their Sahitya Akademi awards have agreed to take the awards back, the Akademi has said on Friday.

Nayantara Sahgal, the first writer to return her award in protest against the atmosphere of intolerance in the country, is one of the ten writers, who the Akademi says, have agreed to take their awards back.

The logo of Sahitya Akademi. (Photo: <a href="https://twitter.com/sahityaakademi">Twitter.com/@sahityaakademi</a>)
The logo of Sahitya Akademi. (Photo: Twitter.com/@sahityaakademi)

Sahitya Akademi has started sending back the awards to the writers...It has already been sent to Nayantara Sahgal...Another writer Nand Bhardwaj has also agreed to take back the award. It would be sent to other writers as well.

Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, President, Sahitya Akademi

Sahgal has, however, denied the reports of her accepting the award back.

People are quoting me incorrectly, haven’t agreed to take back returned award. It is Sahitya Akademi’s policy to not accept awards back once they confer it on an individual.

Nayantara Sahgal, Writer

The writer is facing flak on social media after reports of her returning the award made rounds.

The outrage was against the Akademi’s silence on the murder of Kannadda scholar MM Kalburgi and the “communal” atmosphere in the country following the Dadri lynching incident.

There is a list of 10 writers who have agreed to take back the awards they had returned. Sahgal and Bhardwaj are two confirmed names in the list.

Culture Ministry Source

On 23 October, Sahitya Akademi had passed a unanimous resolution after a two-hour long meeting appealing to state and central governments to take steps to prevent such incidents and asked authors to take back the awards.

The Akademi strongly condemns the killing of writer Kalburgi and appeals to the state and central government to take steps to prevent such incidents in the future.

Krishnaswamy Nachimuthu, Executive Committee Board Member

The Akademi has decided to send the writers a copy of the resolution which establishes that the Constitution does not allow the return of these honours.

According to the Culture Ministry source, Sahgal decided to take back her award as there is no provision to return the award.

Whereas Rajasthani writer Nand Bhardwaj was “satisfied” with the response of the Akademi, condemning incidents of violence against writers.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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