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Marathi writer Ibrahim Afghan returns Sahitya Akademi award

Mumbai: Noted Marathi writer and journalist Ibrahim Afghan today announced that he would return his Sahitya Akademi award for translation “as a demonstration against intolerance”.

Afghan had received the Sahitya Akademi award in 2002 for his Marathi translation of Nida Fazli’s Urdu book ‘Deewaron Ke Beech’.

Talking to PTI, Afghan said he would return the award as well as the prize money tomorrow.

“I believe the voice of reason is the essence of the secular democratic Republic we are in. And I stand by my writer brethren to raise the pitch for the same,” Afghan said in a statement here.

“I am fully aware that the environment of intolerance is not new for the writers. It has consistently risen since the beginning of the millennium. However, I see this step as better late than never. I need not say separately that I am returning my Sahitya Akademi Award which I was awarded in 2002 and Urdu Sahitya Akademi Award in 2013, though they don’t mean as much as being believed.

“It’s a mere demonstration of standing for reason and against ignorance and intolerance. I appeal to all writers, artists and believers in reason to stand up. You don’t need to return anything. However, stand to state your voice for reason and against ignorance.

Afghan said “and I appeal to those, who have already returned the awards to watch out that the work is not done. Know that our words have lost power to put the unreason to shame. Tough times are ahead as were they in the past and you will have to devise new methods of protests. You have nothing other than words but I believe they are enough if lit up with wisdom.