DMK chief flays Centre over return of Akademi awards

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Chennai, Oct 13: Condemning the "silence" of the Centre over the issue of authors returning their Sahitya Akademi awards, DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Tuesday said this "nonchalant" attitude was an injustice and a black chapter in history.

Giving a list of authors who had returned their awards including Nayantara Sahgal in protest, Karunanidhi said there was still no explanation from the Centre or Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was a matter of regret and condemnable.


He noted that several authors had returned their awards and poet Satchidanandan had quit his Akademi post alleging that the literary body had failed to stand by writers and uphold freedom of expression.

"When freedom of expression and India's pluralism is under attack and if those with authority to prevent it show nonchalance, it will be not only injustice but also a black chapter in history," he said.

All those who are neutral understand that the BJP regime is reticent even during situations that warrant expression of opinion, he said. "When the saffron party assumed power at the Centre, it was expected that it would stay away from Hindutva."

"It seems the Akademi management feels that if any opinion is made over the issue it may offend the Centre," he said.


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