Indian writer Nayantara Sahgal returns Sahitya Akademi Award
New Delhi/Oct.6, 2015
Noted Indian writer Nayantara Sahgal has returned the prestigious literary award of the country’ Sahitya Akademy Award’ to register her protest against ‘vicious assault’ on India’s diversity.
In a statement Ms. Sahgal, said her protest is “in memory of the Indians who have been murdered, in support of all Indians who uphold the right to dissent, and of all dissenters who now live in fear and uncertainty”.
While mentioning a recent attack on a rationalist intellectual and beef controversy, she further said : “Rationalists who question superstition, anyone who questions any aspect of the ugly and dangerous distortion of Hinduism known as Hindutva — whether in the intellectual or artistic sphere, or whether in terms of food habits and lifestyle — are being marginalised, persecuted, or murdered”.
Niece of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Ms. Sehgal made a direct reference to the recent killing of a Bishara village resident Mohammad Akhlaq, who was dragged out of his home and lynched on the suspicion that beef was cooked in his home; and to the recent killing of rationalists M.M. Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare.
Expressing her anger over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence, she said: “In all these cases, justice drags its feet. The Prime Minister remains silent about this reign of terror. We must assume he dare not alienate evil-doers who support his ideology.”