New Delhi, June 15 (IANS) In a dramatic turn of events, the Sahitya Akademi was left embarrassed on its home turf as noted writer-poet Keki Daruwalla, on whose works the Akademi presented a documentary Friday evening, clarified that despite being present at the Akademi, his views and stance remain unchanged and the question of taking back his Sahitya Akademi award, which he returned in 2015, does not arise.
Daruwalla, one of India’s foremost writers and poets and a recipient of several national and international literary accolades, was among the leading faces spearheading the ‘award wapsi’ (returning of awards) in 2015 in protest against rising intolerance and the alleged threats to the spirit of free speech in the country.
“I must say that my views remain the same. And so does my stance. We still feel that enough was not done after the killings (of rationalist thinkers Dhabolkar and Pansare) and now (Gauri) Lankesh has been killed too,” he said in response to an IANS question at the Sahitya Akademi event here.
Daruwalla also seemed a little disappointed at the documentary that was played at the Sahitya Akademi this evening and informed the audience that it is “at least 10 years old” and therefore a lot of his new writings do not find mention in it.
Sahitya Akademi inaugurated a documentary film festival on June 11 and it reached its culmination Friday evening with Daruwalla’s tete-e-tete with the audience.
The representatives of Sahitya Akademi at the venue denied requests for comments.
(Saket Suman can be contacted at [email protected])