Award wapsi: Critic Rajashekhar rejects Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award
Writer and critic G Rajashekhar has rejected the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award announced on Tuesday, citing “continuing atmosphere of intolerance” in the country and in the state as the reason.
He told The Hindu that this is in continuation of the 2015 award wapsi movement.
“The situation has still not changed. In fact, instead of improving, the situation has only deteriorated. As a mark of solidarity with those writers who had refused the award, I am not accepting the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award,” he reportedly said. The book chosen for the award, Bahuvachana Bharata, has articles on both contemporary political issues and literature.
“The right-wing forces are now not censoring dissent. Instead, they are seeing to it that no one voices their dissent at all. There has already been a big public discussion on the issue of intolerance in the country. Right from Mohammad Akhlaq incident at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to the attack on persons from minority communities in the coastal district of Karnataka, the situation has not changed,” he said.
The year 2016 was far worse than 2015, he said.
“The right-wing forces are gaining strength in the country. My worry is that these forces are gaining strength with every passing day. I feel a bit forlorn and desperate. No one is listening to secular forces, who, I feel, are being confined to a corner. I feel despondent and rather unnerved. Hence I feel that accepting an award in this situation is ludicrous. I cannot do it,” he said.