I have been constantly raising my voice that a genre called 'casual literature' does exist…
To Authors Who Return Sahitya Akademi Award
I have many questions for all those authors and literary figures who have recently returned the Sahitya Akademi award. In fact, no one can return the award in actual terms; they have only returned the ‘rusted piece of shield’ because only money matters to them! I am fully conscious when I make this writ statement. No writer did bother to offer back the amount given along with the Sahitya Akademi award! I charge them of playing mere politics.
The Background of Sahitya Akademi Award Returning
The recent developments of our country in the terms of literary prosperity are remarkable. Hardly anyone can deny that modern authors have added much of the spicy taste in the cultural and civilised literature of India! I concur with the voices of billions! The new breed of Indian literature sneaks into the life of modern youth. It explores the realms of girlfriends and boyfriends (I am not getting into the specifications – full or half!). The classics like myself call such produce dirty and unworthy… they do not bother reading these works. Might us be right in our perception (me, Alok Mishra, and all the classic literature lovers) as India have not been able to bring home any Nobel prize for literature after 1913. Enough did, now I shall move to the real purpose of the labour I am into. I am writing this letter to the authors who have returned their prestigious Sahitya Akademi award presented to them by the autonomous authority itself. Therefore, the recipients of this letter are so many along with Nayantara Sehgal, Sara Joseph, Uday Prakash, Ashok Vajpeyi and Aravind Malagutti.
After adding the addresses of all those concerning this letter, I should begin.
A Letter to the Participants of Sahitya Akademi Award Returning Mega Show Participants
I have very high regards for you. In fact, the letter will be something like a child appealing to the veterans. I am sure like (like it happens most of the time) the veterans will not heed to the appeal of a child who is yet ‘unawarded’. Nevertheless, democracy is not only your prerogative; I also live in the same India! I can raise my voice of support or protest as well (though not with a political motive). So please forgive me if I trouble you with this letter – rather a nuisance.
The recent incident(s) did not go well for us (not only for the elite class of authors). The unfortunate killing in Dadri was shocking. It had not to be; at the same time, it was not the first (or the last). Mark it; unless people in India (or the world) do not become conscious of the futility of existence, killings, massacre and violence will keep happening. However, we must protest against incidents like this. I am with you, the class with pen in hands and positive thoughts in mind. I am also one of you. The method or the way of registering protest is not good that you have opted for, I will say it! You people simply blame the prime minister of the nation and give away your awards (in the form of the shield); is it that simple? To me, at least, the incidents of returning Sahitya Akademi literature awards prove a notion of lost battle or hopelessness. As far as I know about the authors with the determination to change the world, they do not give in! They fight with their pen. Where is your spirit? My question is to everyone, be that Nayantara Sehgal, Sara Joseph, Uday Prakash, Ashok Vajpeyi, Aravind Malagutti or others to follow. Will you stop writing now? What are you doing by blaming the prime minister, have you ever bothered to consider? In fact, you are providing petrol to the fire of communal clashes! (If it’s the motive behind all this high-profile drama, go ahead.) To my mind, what a genuine writer with such a prestigious award of Sahitya Akademi should do in such a situation is connect to the common people with quality writing. The authors have a serious duty to carry ahead; they should not indulge in blame game like expert politicians. Ask Salman Rushdie to come to India if he dares before you think to fly with his support!
I do not want to believe the other side of the coin that reflects me the political motives of all of you. However, respected Sahitya Akademi winners, have you not witnessed other communal clashes before this incident? You must have seen the riots and massacres of 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989 Bhagalpur riots, the 1990s Hindu Exodus from Kashmir, and so many others… where was your ‘sense’ at that time? Dear authors, say whatever, people are clearly seeing your anti-Modi sentiment filled with the love for Congress! I pray God be not such a case, but if it is, your people are more hazardous to India than those riot-mongers.
A Question to the Participants of Sahitya Akademi Award Return Reality Show
The last question of Alok Mishra to all those who have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards (or will do so in near future countersigning the theory of sheep-walk):
Dear authors, have you returned the amount you got? Will you be able to go back in time and return the popularity that Sahitya Akademi offered to you? Will you erase the tag ‘Sahitya Akademi winner’ from your books? Will you pay the poor Sahitya Akademi authority the price for the translations of your copies?
A free suggestion to you all:
Return your prize money. Collect it and use it to support the families of Muzaffarnagar riot victims. It will at least display that you hypocrites actually concern for the so-called changing mood of the nation.
Pardon me for registering my protest against one already running protest.
Update: Even TOI supports this view: here is the link: