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Hindi translator Chaman Lal returns Sahitya award, Odia poet

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Hindi translator Chaman Lal, a retired JNU professor, today returned his award and cash money of his 2002 translation prize to the Sahitya Akademi.

Noting that the issue now went beyond the "Akademi's insensitive behaviour", he said "there is wider government patronisation to Akademi's such conduct".

"This is moment of crisis and choices have to be made clearly - with whom I stand and I stand with my fellow writers of Punjabi as well as other languages, who have taken side of suffering humanity and spoken against the patronisation of communal hatred, attack on institutions of knowledge, attack on freedom of ideas and their expression fearlessly," he said.

Meanwhile, Rajendra Kishore Panda invoked the constitution of the Sahitya Akademi in his letter to the Akademi President urging the literary body to hold an urgent meeting and said if it failed to do so then its members should do so.

Over the past week poets, playwrights and writers have gradually built up a crescendo protesting against the Akademi's silence over the killings.

The poet said that the protests by the authors are mere symbolic and much more needs to be done.

First Published: Tue, October 13 2015. 22:07 IST