Kerala writer Sara Joseph returns Sahitya Akademi award to protest Kalburgi murder, Dadri lynching

In a continuation of protests among the writers fraternity, over growing intolerance in the country, Kerala-based Writer Sara Joseph today returned her Sahitya Akademi award to protest the murder of rationalist M M Kalburgi and the Dadri lynching incident.

Talking to a TV channel, Ms Joseph said,''The killing of M M Kalburgi and the dadri killing have upset me. There is growing fear and lack of freedom under this Government. Witer being killed, a ghazal singer not allowed to perform, a mob killing a person over rumours of beef eatting - this is not the free India we lived in.''

Ms Jospeh is the fifth litterateur in the country to relinquish a post or an award over growing atmosphere of intolerance in the country. Earlier, writers Nayantara Sahgal , Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi, and Hindi writer Uday Prakash had relinquished their Sahitya Akademi awards in protest over an atmosphere of intolerance and silence of the authorities on the issue.

While Sahgal and Vajpeyi had returned the awards in protest against the "assault on right to freedom of both life and expression", Hindi writer Uday Prakash did it to register his protest against the murder of Kalburgi. Akademi chairperson Vishwanath PrasadTiwari had earlier said authors should adopt a different way to protest and not politicise the Akademi. Noted author Shashi Deshpande yesterday resigned from the Sahitya Akademi General Council against the silence of the Akademi over the killing of Kannada writer MM Kalburgi.

In her letter to Akademi , the Award-winning author tendered her resignation , voicing "a sense of strong disappointment" over the literary body's silence on the killing Kalburgi.

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