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39 writers returned their Sahitya Akademi awards: Govt

NEW DELHI: Thirty-nine writers have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards during the last three years claiming that the Akademi “kept silent” when their freedom of expression was “under attack”, Lok Sabha was informed today.

Noted Rajasthani writer Nand Bhardwaj, however, has taken back his decision of returning the award, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said in a written reply.

There was a spurt in writers returning their awards to the Akademi in the backdrop of the institution’s “silence” on the murder of fellow writer M M Kalburgi as well against the “communal” atmosphere in the country following the Dadri lynching incident of 2015.

“…The writers claimed that there was an attack on their freedom of expression and the Akademi kept silent on the issue,” Sharma said.

He said during the last three years, Sahitya Akademi has given away 280 awards. (AGENCIES)

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