New Delhi: Following the cue of various writer Gujarat-based writer Ganesh Devy on Sunday returned his Sahitya Akademi Award to express solidarity with the writers, who have recently given up their awards to condemn the “shrinking space for free expression and growing intolerance towards differences of opinion” in the country.
He had written in a letter saying, “It is high time that writers take a stand,” Devy further said in a letter addressed to the president of Sahitya Akademi Prof Viswanath Pratap Tiwari, “It is with utmost regret that I would like to convey to you that I wish to return the 1993 Sahitya Akademi Award given in the category of books in English to my work After Amnesia (1992).”
However, one day after his decision, an intelligence officer paid a visit at his residence in Vadodara on Monday to inquire whether the writer have launched a campaign “to spread disaffection for the state”.
Devy said that shortly after the announcement, an in “She identified herself with her official identity card and then asked me if this was an organised movement and if so who is behind it,” Scroll reported.
He further said, “I explained that this is not an organised movement and that there is no one behind it. This information gathering, she told me, was on behest of the Home Ministry. So, I conclude that others like me too will be asked to answer these and related questions.”
Although Devy said that the officer was very polite and the conversation continued for an hour, it is yet not ascertained whether other writers who have returned their awards have been paid a similar kind of visit by officials.