NEW DELHI: Eighteen journalists and writers to return their Sahitya Akademi award in protest of climate of intolerance in India.
Joining the ranks, eight more writers and artistes from Maharashtra have decided to return their awards. This brings the total number of people who have returned their awards to 18, BSS reports.
According to All India Radio Maharashtra journalist and writer Ibrahim Afghan and seven other writers and artistes have also said yesterday that they would return their awards that have received from the state and their cash prizes.
Afghan said that he would return both his Sahitya Akademi award and another award that he won for his writing in Urdu. He believes that the voice of reason is the essence of the secular, democratic republic that India is.
Singer and musician Shahir Sambhaji Bhagat, who scored music for Court-- India's nomination to the Oscars --, has decided to return his award that he received this year for the film Nagarik.
Bhagat said that this is one more step in the protest against the killings of rationalists, Dadri lynching and the interference of the government in art, science, research, higher education and every other aspect of human life.
Another senior writer, Rajeev Naik has also declared that he will return his award from the state government that he received in 1989.
Journalist Mukund Kule has said that he wants to return two awards, along with a cash prize worth over one lakh, which he received for writing two books on his journalistic experiences.
Writer and critic Milind Malshe also said that he would return his award that he received from the state government. He said that Human dignity and values have seized to exist in the current political and social atmosphere.
Sayyed Bhai, founder and former chairman of Muslim Satyshodhak Mandal, will also return his government award, and expressed concern about the inaction over the Sachhar Committee report.
Urmila Pawar, a prominent writer, is also returning her award given by the state. Mohan Patil from Jaisingpur has also written to the chief minister saying that he would return his award.
Sanjay Bhaskar Joshi has said that he will add a sum of Rs 80,000 to the prize money Rs 20,000 and award that he would be returning, as a contribution to the chief minister's drought relief fund.