March 27, 2017

Eminent writer Shashi Deshpande quits Akademi in protest

Eminent writer Shashi Deshpande quits Akademi in protest

Eminent writer and Padma Shri-awardee Shashi Deshpande on Friday resigned from the Sahitya Akademi’s Governing Council.

She was disappointed with the literary body’s failure to protest against the murder of noted Kannada scholar M M Kalburgi and all such acts of “violent intolerance”.

The Bengaluru-based writer, in her letter to Akademi president Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, said: “Silence is a form of abetment. If the Akademi, the premier literary organisation in the country, cannot stand up against such an act of violence against a writer, if the Akademi remains silent about this attack on one of its own, what hope do we have of fighting the growing intolerance in our country?”

Kalburgi, who was shot dead at his Dharwad residence recently, was not only an Akademi awardee but also a member of its Governing Council.

Deshpande described Kalburgi as “a good and honest human being.” Speaking to Deccan Herald in Bengaluru, the daughter of famous Kannada dramatist Sriranga said: “Each individual has his own means of expression. As writers, we need to show our support for any other writer who gets harassed and is troubled.” She said this when asked what she thought writers should do in an atmosphere of intolerance.

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