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Writers must respect their awards: Sahitya Akademi President

Post the ‘award-wapsi’ campaign across the country during which a slew of writers returned their Sahitya Akademi awards to protest against “growing intolerance”, Akademi President Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari said the writers must respect the awards they win.

Conferring the ‘Yuva Puraskar’ on young authors from two Indian languages in a ceremony here, Tiwari laid emphasis on the importance of Sahitya Akademi awards.

“Such honours are an acceptance by the society and it is on the basis of society’s acceptance that institutions like Sahitya Akademi gives away these awards, which our writers should respect,” Tiwari said in his speech delivered in Hindi.

The Akademi had on November 14 in a function in Mumbai presented the Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2015 to writers for their contribution to Children’s Literature.

“Lately, awards have been in media headlines. Four days ago, Bal Sahitya awards were conferred upon in Mumbai. Hosting such awards twice in a single week is a indeed a celebration, and this gives me immense pleasure,” Tiwari said.

The Yuva Puraskar was given to 23 authors under the age of 35 years and includes a cheque of Rs 50,000 besides an engraved copper plaque.

“For such occasions, honour is a more befitting term than awards, for the latter term gives a materialistic impression. But honour is above all this. The money that we receive can be shared with our children but the honour that we earn is extremely personal and cannot be shared. We cannot sell it, neither can we return it,” Tiwari said.

In the recent past, a number of filmmakers, scientists, writers and historians returned their awards to protest against the “climate of intolerance” in the country.

At least 38 authors including Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi, Uday Prakash, Keki N Daruwalla had returned their Akademi awards. The 2012 Yuva Purasakar awardee Aman Sethi had also joined in the protests by returning his award.

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