The Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi strongly condemns the murder of Prof M.M. Kalburgi

Sahitya Akademi Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi   
 Dated: 23rd October 2015  

The Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi, at its special meeting on 23rd October 2015, is deeply pained and strongly condemns the murder of Prof M.M. Kalburgi and the other intellectuals and thinkers. As the only autonomous institution of Indian Literature in all its diversities, the Akademi firmly supports the writers’ right to freedom of expression in all the languages of India and condemns any atrocity against any writer anywhere in the country in the strongest of words and asks Governments at the center and in the States to take immediate action to bring the culprits to book and to ensure the security of writers now and in the future. The spirit of plurality that Indian culture embodies has been a much sought after ideal for the rest of the world. This is what should be protected. Sahitya Akademi demands that Center and States maintain the ambience of peaceful coexistence in the societies and it urges various communities of our society to put aside the differences on the grounds of caste, religion, region and ideologies.   

Sahitya Akademi is an organization of writers for writers, an institution guided solely by writers. All its decisions including those on the awards are made only by the writers. In this context, we request the authors who returned awards or have dissociated themselves with the Akademi to reconsider their decisions.   

Akademi’s Executive Board believes that the cooperation of writers should strengthen the autonomy of the Akademi which has been held high in the 61 years of its history.   
This meeting of Executive Board notes that upon the assassination of Prof. Kalburgi, the President of the Akademi had telephonically requested the Vice-President to contact Prof. Kalburgi’s family and to convey the sense of pain and outrage felt by the Akademi.  

Within hours of the murder of Prof. M.M. Kalburgi, the Vice-President, the Convener of Kannada Advisory Board and some eminent Kannada writers strongly condemned the dastardly murder at a public meeting. Within days, they accompanied the family members of Prof. Kalburgi to meet the Chief Minister of Karnataka to ask for immediate investigation into the crime and protection for the family. The Akademi held a special public condolence meeting on 30th September 2015 at Bangalore in honour of Prof. M.M. Kalburgi where a large number of eminent writers condemned the assassination and paid their tribute to him.     
In following weeks, many other language Conveners issued, on behalf of the Akademi, public statements condemning the incident and demanding justice. In Srinagar, the Convener of Kashmiri Advisory Board along with Conveners of six languages publicly condemned the murder. In Hyderabad, Telugu writers, at the behest of the Convener of Telugu language, issued a public statement of strong condemnation of the assassination.   

The Executive Board reconfirms this condemnation of the assassination of Prof. Kalburgi and records its own sense of pain and outrage at the atrocities against and the murders of authors in the past. It also condemns the violence against fellow citizens from different walks of life.   

The Executive Board unanimously endorses the diligent and vigilant leadership provided by the President to keep the dignity of the Akademi intact and uphold the tradition and legacy of the Akademi.    

          S d/ -                                                              Sd/ -         
(Chandrashekhar Kambar)        (Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari) 
       Vice-President                                        President  


Sahitya Akademi condemns Kalburgi murder, requests writers to take back their awards
New Delhi: In view of the strong protest by writers against 'growing intolerance in the country', the executive board of the Sahitya Akademi, Friday, condemned the killing of Professor MM Kalburgi and urged the central and state governments to prevent such incidents to happen in future.
Board member K Nachimuthu said, “We all condemned the killing of MM Kalburgi...Unanimously decided that writers who have returned awards should take them back, people who have resigned should join back.”
However, the group of writers who are on a silent protest outside the Akademi office in Delhi are waiting for the official statement from the board to be made public.
The highest decision-making body of Akademi met after it came under criticism for its alleged silence on 'growing intolerance in the country'.
Around 100 writers, poets and others from the literary circuit are on a silent protest outside the Akademi office in Mandi House in central Delhi.
The protesters also submitted a memorandum to the Akademi demanding that it pass a resolution pledging to take stern steps to safeguard the freedom of speech and right to dissent of the writers.
Speaking to a news channel, one of the protesters said, “People are being attacked - minorities, Dalits, writers - freedom of expression is in danger...people are being led onto a fascist path.”
As per reports many other writers, who have not returned their awards, are waiting for the outcome of the Akademi meeting to decide their future course of action.
Interestingly, there's another group of writers who are present at the venue to protest against the writers who have decided to return their awards.
They claim that those writers who have returned their awards are doing politics due to ideological differences with the Modi government.
One them said that these writers have never raised their voice even when bigger incidences have occurred in the country. One of their posters read: “Get well soon”.
At least 35 writers from across the country had over the past few weeks announced their decision to return their Sahitya Akademi awards and stepped down from official Akademi positions to protest the "rising intolerance" in the country.

The Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi strongly condemns the murder of Prof M.M. Kalburgi The Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi strongly condemns the murder of Prof M.M. Kalburgi Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 6:44 PM Rating: 5

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