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Poet Adil Jussawalla urges Akademi to condemn ‘unacceptable censoring’ of writers

Poet and critic Adil Jussawalla, who received the Sahitya Akademi honour for his work in 2014, today urged the literary body to condemn the “unacceptable censoring” of writers by “violently intolerant groups.”

In a letter to Sahitya Akademi president Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, Jussawalla, while referring to the murder of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and the killings of rationalists Narendra Dhabolkar and Govind Pansare, urged the body to speak up and issue a statement condemning the state of affairs.

“I realise that the Akademi has rules and regulations but I do feel that it should condemn what is happening to the writing community. What I don’t understand is the lack of urgency. Instead of waiting for December when the Akademi convenes for its executive meeting, it should expedite the matter urgently,” said Jussawalla.

The poet, who is based in Mumbai, said he “believed this is the time for it to boldly state that it unequivocally supports the rights of this nation’s writers and condemns the violence used to suppress or destroy those rights.”

“The murder of writers M. M. Kalburgi, Narendra Dhabolkar and Govind Pansare and the unacceptable censoring of many other writers by violently intolerant groups must be condemned,” he said.

Earlier, Tiwari in a statement had said that though he was pained by the reports of writers’ protests, the Akademi can express its views only after getting requisite approval from the Executive Board when it meets next.

Jussawallah said the Akademi “cannot take cover under the pretext of being an autonomous institution”.

“It has a duty to speak up for all writers not only those that have received awards but also for those who are butchered and silenced by killings.” he told.

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