Udupi, Jan 12, 2017: Reports state that writer and critic G. Rajashekhar has rejected the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award announced on Jan 10, Tuesday, citing “continuing atmosphere of intolerance” in the country and in the State as the reason.
Critic Rajashekhar, who is recovering from ill-health at a private hospital here, is said to have stated that many writers refused awards in 2015 citing increasing intolerance and violence in the country. “The situation is still the very same and not changed. Instead of improving, the situation has only deteriorated. As a mark of solidarity with those writers who had refused the award, I will not be accepting the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award,” he said. The book chosen for the award has articles on both contemporary political issues and literature.
“The right-wing forces are now not censoring dissent. Instead, they a ensuring that no one voices 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.
Writer Rajashekhar said that after Akhlaq’s death, a case was filed against his family members. The right-wing forces were still carrying on with “the politics of cow slaughter” in the country. 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 not right. I cannot and will not do it,” he said.