Will Seek Publicity Until Kalburgi’s Killers are Caught: Writer

The Akademi President has accused the writer of being publicity hungry.

2 min read
Hindi Female

The debate on ‘Award Wapsi’, as it is has been called by detractors, has taken a new turn in Kannada literary circles with a Kannada writer saying that he would continue to seek ‘publicity’ until writer MM Kalburgi’s killers are brought to book.

A day after he declined to accept the Karnataka Sahitya Akadmi award for his book on the stories of street dwellers, writer Dayanand TK has said that he would continue to seek ‘publicity’ until the Kalburgi’ killers are apprehended.

On Friday, Dayanand declined to accept the Academi award for Rasthe Nakshatra, citing the failure of the Karnataka government in delivering justice to Kalburgi, who was murdered in his house in Dharward city in broad daylight on August 30.

The Akademi held the award ceremony in Bengaluru on Saturday, where its president Malathi Pattanshetty said, ‘It was only a publicity tactic on the part of writer TK Dayanand to tell the media that he was declining the Sahitya Akademi Award just a day before the ceremony was scheduled.’

She later told Kannada daily Prajavani that the awards for 2015 had been announced on 19 September and that Dayanand ‘remained silent’ even when the date of the award ceremony was finalised and communicated to him three weeks ago.

Eight days ago, the biodata of the writers was sought, and he sent that too. Even then, he gave no hint of declining the award. But on Friday evening, he sent a letter to the Akademi along with statements to the media. It was not right to tell the media before informing the Akademi.

Malathi Pattanshetty, Akademi President to Prajavani

The ‘Award Wapasi’

 The Akademi President has accused the writer of being publicity hungry.
Rationalist MM Kalburgi was killed four months ago. (Photo Courtesy: The News Minute)

Responding to these remarks, Dayanand put up a Facebook post on Sunday, stating that his only response to Pattanshetty, who had ‘denigrated’ their refusal to accept the award was, ‘(We will continue to seek) the publicity of our anger against the government for its failure to bring to justice the killers of Kalburgi, who was a guiding force to all of us. Until then, we will not pander to the denigration directed at us by the government’s stooges.’

Senior writer, researcher and professor Rahmat Tarikere too declined the award on Saturday morning, the day of the ceremony, Prajavani reported. These developments have set the Kannada literary world abuzz, with writers, poets, researchers, theatre persons and intellectuals being forced to take a position.

When Siddaramaiah became the Chief Minister, expectations were high from him given his socialist background and close ties with some of the tallest figures of Karnataka’s cultural sphere. But with no visible progress in Kalburgi’s murder probe, several writers have expressed their anger and disappointment, causing embarrassment to the state government.

When Dayanand declined to accept the award, Home Minister Parameshwara told The Economic Times that the government was taking all possible measures to ensure that Kalburgi’s killers were punished.

A number of Kannada writers have returned both the state and central Sahitya Akademi awards.

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