Goa’s writers to decide on returning Sahitya Akademi award

Panaji, Oct 12 (IANS) Spurred by top Indian writers who have returned the Sahitya Akademi award following the murder of fellow recipient M.M. Kalburgi, over 30 Goan writers, all of them winners of the award, will meet on Wednesday to decide on the issue of collectively returning the trophy and the prize money.

Sahitya Akademi award winning writer N. Shivdas said the Konkani writer community in Goa may have reacted to the killing of award-winners and intellectuals a bit late in the day, but added that the response of the state’s intelligentsia would be emphatic on Wednesday.

“Over 30 Konkani writers have received the Sahitya Akademi award since the 1970s. We are meeting on Wednesday, where we will decide collectively on the course of action,” said Shivdas who won the award in 2005 for his Konkani novel Bhangarsal.

“We are inspired by the decision of other Sahitya Akademi award winners who have returned their awards and by personalities like Shashi Deshpande. The government has been mute in face of attacks on thinkers and writers,” Shivdas said.

Deshpande quit the Sahitya Akademi in protest against the silence of the central government-funded institution over the killing of Kalburgi and others like rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and leftist leader Govind Pansare.

Top writers like Uday Prakash, Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi among several others have already returned their awards blaming the Akademi for its silence.

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