This Article is From Nov 19, 2015

Writers Must Respect Their Awards: Sahitya Akademi President

Writers Must Respect Their Awards: Sahitya Akademi President

Poet Ashok Vajpeyi has returned his Sahitya Akademi award. At least 38 authors including Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi, Uday Prakash, Keki N Daruwalla had returned their Akademi awards.

New Delhi: Post the 'award-wapsi' campaign across the country during which a slew of writers returned their Sahitya Akademi awards to protest against "growing intolerance", Akademi President Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari today said the writers must respect the awards they win.

Conferring the 'Yuva Puraskar' on young authors from two Indian languages in a ceremony in New Delhi, Mr Tiwari laid emphasis on the importance of Sahitya Akademi awards.

"Such honours are an acceptance by the society and it is on the basis of society's acceptance that institutions like Sahitya Akademi gives away these awards, which our writers should respect," Mr Tiwari said in his speech delivered in Hindi.

The Akademi had on November 14 in a function in Mumbai presented the Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2015 to writers for their contribution to Children's Literature.

"Lately, awards have been in media headlines. Four days ago, Bal Sahitya awards were conferred upon in Mumbai. Hosting such awards twice in a single week is a indeed a celebration, and this gives me immense pleasure," Mr Tiwari said.

The Yuva Puraskar was given to 23 authors under the age of 35 years and includes a cheque of Rs 50,000 besides an engraved copper plaque.

"For such occasions, honour is a more befitting term than awards, for the latter term gives a materialistic impression. But honour is above all this. The money that we receive can be shared with our children but the honour that we earn is extremely personal and cannot be shared. We cannot sell it, neither can we return it," Mr Tiwari said.

In the recent past, a number of filmmakers, scientists, writers and historians returned their awards to protest against the "climate of intolerance" in the country.

At least 38 authors including Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi, Uday Prakash, Keki N Daruwalla had returned their Akademi awards. The 2012 Yuva Purasakar awardee Aman Sethi had also joined in the protests by returning his award.

Akademi Vice President Chandrashekhar Kambar gave away the awards today to the authors who were chosen in a unanimous vote by the Executive Board of the institution.

The 2015 Yuva Puraskar awardees include Indira Dangi (Hindi), Ameen Imam (Urdu), Veera Rathod (Marathi), Sudeep Chakraborty (Bengali), Narayan Jha (Maithili), Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar (English) among others.

Thirteen books of poetry, 3 novels, 6 collection of short stories and one book of literary criticism have won this year's Yuva Puraskar with no award for Kashmiri language. K Sreenivasaro, Secretary, Sahitya Akademi also spoke of the importance of the awards.

"The Akademi seeks to encourage and promote young writers across India and in all the 24 regional languages through the Yuva Puraskar instituted in 2011.

"We also organise periodically literary event called Yuva Sahiti across India in all the 24 recognised languages. It also has a scheme called Navodaya, where young writers can get the help of the Akademi to publish their first works in their regional language," he said.

Meanwhile "Avishkar", a two-day Young Writers' Festival is scheduled from tomorrow here where young writers from 22 different Indian languages will take part and present their works in the programme and noted writers like Arun Kamal, Humra Quraishi and Rahul Saini chair the sessions.