Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sahitya Academi Row: Those who “manufactured” a protest included a Rajasthan bureaucrat too!

Poet and Officer
MEET this bureaucrat who is among 33 writers who had returned their awards in the last few weeks to protest what they term a growing intolerance under Narendra Modi government at the Centre. Eminent poet Ambika Dutt Chaturvedi who is also a Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) officer won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2013 for his contribution to the Rajasthani literature. And this 59-year-old writer-officer too announced that he would be…
returning his Sahitya Academi Award along with the prize money of Rs 1 lakh. The writers and poets like Chaturvedi were particularly upset over killing of writer M M Kalburgi in Karnataka and the Dadri lynching over beef in Uttar Pradesh, among others.
Chaturvedi is currently the registrar of University of Kota, a Rajasthan government university recognized by the University Grants Commission in 2003.
Chaturvedi received Sahitya Academi Award in 2013 for the collection of Rajasthani poems named ‘Aanthyui nhi din haal’ (It is not sunset yet). He said, the writers did the right thing in returning their awards and reiterated that he is politics and ideology-neutral.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and finance minister Arun Jaitley in a blog post hit back at writers saying they are the ones who are ideologically intolerant. "Is this protest real or a manufactured one?” he asked. FM gave a political twist to the tale saying that the writers with Left or Nehruvian leanings who had enjoyed the patronage of the previous establishment are not comfortable with the Modi government.
Last week, Sahitya Akademi finally broke its weeks-long silence and appealed the litterateurs to reconsider their decision.

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