Sahitya Akademi Awards was returned by many writers in recent days. Young 17-year-old Kannada writer Ria Vithasha who had written five novels returned her Sahitya Akedemi Awards for killing the experienced Kannada writer MM Kalburgi on 30th August.
Vithasha writes her works by her pen name Muddu Thirthahalli and she was awarded this year for her book of short essays Ondu Chandrana Tundu. Her novel Kaada Haadiya Hoogalu was adopted for the award-winning movie on the same name. She is the student in Government PU College in Thirthahalli, Shimoga district.
She knew MM Kalburgi form her childhood and she had read all his writings. 'I cried a lot when he was killed and wanted to return my award but my parents told me to have patience and wait. Now so much time has elapsed and still there is nothing being done so like the other writers have done, I have returned my award,' she said in Hindi.
The 78-years-old MM Kalburgi has been shot dead in his residency in Dharwad district, Karnataka on 30 August 2015. His Marga series, research articles is very popular among the readers. Marga1 is hold on for various controversies but his Marga4 had gained him Sahitya Akedani Award.
Two unidentified men came by the motor cycle, one entered his house introducing himself as writer student to his wife. He entered writer's room and shot him twice while other one stands out and escaped immediately. Kalburgi earlier criticized the idol worship and traditions in his speech. He was threatened several times before for allegedly hurting the sentiments of Hindus. Some Hindu activists filed complaint earlier about his criticism that hurts the Hindu sentiments.
Former Union Minister and congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday stated Awards should not be dishonored in the function at Thiruvanathapuram. The report quoted his statement that 'Personally, I regret the fact that a section of writers have returned the Akademi awards. Award is a recognition of intellectual, literary, creative or academic merits. It is not a political act'.
'Sahitya Akademi is actually an independent institution, and the concerns we have are political ones. For writers, I think there is no need to confuse these two. One should oppose the present climate ... one should stand up for freedom ... but one should not dishonour the award,' he said.
Sahitya Akedami Award was initially started by the government of India on 1954. It aimed at encouraging the writers, journals and literacy works. Though it was set by the government it functions as the independent autonomous organization. It gives 24 Awards to the literacy works in all the languages in India it has recognized.