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Will wait for Akademi decision to return Sahitya award: Seth

Eminent novelist Vikram Seth has said he was keenly awaiting the outcome of Sahitya Akademi’s upcoming emergency meeting to decide whether or not to give up award conferred on him by the literary body.

“In the Akademi there is so much inaction in the face of recent dreadful events like death of writers because they have spoken their mind. It is not fair in advance to malign or prejudge what the Akademi might decide to do but I am quite confident that they will take a stand,” Seth told PTI.

The 63-year-old writer who had received an Akademi award in 1988 for his novel ‘The Golden Gate’ said this on the sidelines of the launch of his book of poems ‘the Summer Requiem’ here last night.

With writers including Nayantara Sahgal, Uday Prakash, Ashok Vajpei and Ganesh Devy returning their awards in protest against incidents of “rising intolerance”, the Akademi has advanced its general council meeting to October 23.

Stating that he admired the “courageous acts of protest” by all writers who had given up their awards, Seth said the Sahitya Akademi should be given a chance to make amends.

“I admire these writers but once the Akademi has decided under pressure to bring their meeting forward then both tactically and in terms of decency you should give them a chance,” Seth said.