The Sahitya Akademi today again urged writers to take back the awards they have relinquished, saying these were given with love and respect and such feelings should be respected.
“Our executive board has already appealed to the writers to re-consider their decision to give back their awards. Sahitya Akademi is the writer’s institution and has always supported freedom of speech and it is with the writers. The Akademi is not against the writers,” Akademi President Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari told PTI at the “All Indian Poetry Festival” here.
Padma Shri-winning Dogri poet Padma Sachdev, who inaugurated the festival, also supported the views of the Akademi and said that the writers should re-consider their decision.
“Sahitya Akademi is the home of all the ‘sahityakars’. Due to the saddening incidents in the country, many of the members of the Akademi have returned their awards and for which we are very sad and hurt. If people leave their home for reasons like sadness, anger or other reasons then the house becomes empty and keeps waiting for the person,” she said.
“This is my responsibility to tell my beloved family members (writers) that whatever reasons there might have been, your absence is being felt by us here and please rethink your decision. The awards have been given to you with respect and love please respect the feelings and take back your awards,” said Sachdev.
Shedding light on the fact that often freedom of expression has been curbed, Tiwari encouraged poets to keep on writing their poetry.
“No one can stop a poet from writing poetry. It’s irrelevant whether your poetry will be published or not but a poet should keep writing his prose,” he said.
The one-day festival was organised on the occasion of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav in collaboration with Ministry of Culture to promote poetry in all the 24 recognised languages of the country.
“Poetry has not only been useful in prodding imagination and enabling human beings to express themselves more freely, but also has been a tool of social critique at various times in India,” said K Sreenivasarao, Secretary, Sahitya Akademi.
The festival also saw recitation of poems by poets like Sukrita Paul Kumar, Leeladhar Jagoori, H S Shivaprakash, Sirpi Balasubramaniam, Voleti Parvateesam, Abdul Ahad Saz.