Gulzar Opposes Returning of Sahitya Akademi Awards

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Patna: Critically acclaimed filmmaker and poet Gulzar, speaking at a function at Hotel Chanakya in Patna on Friday, expressed his concerns over the recent returning of Sahitya Akademi Award by some writers in protest against the 'climate of intolerance' in India saying the gesture of returning the award reeked of politics.

"The writers are returning the Sahitya Akademi Award to express their anger over recent cases of violence in India. However, what they are failing to recognize is that the violence is not the fault of the Sahitya Akademi. Akademi's job is to recognize writers and poets and not to provide protection to them. I feel there is some politics going on," Gulzar, the maker of dozens of family-oriented films and author of hundreds of poems, said at the 'Rub-a-Ru' program in Patna.

Urging writers to take back their awards, Gulzar said that by returning their awards, they were basically asking the government to take over the academy that, if turned into reality, would be a very bad thing for writers, poets, and litterateurs all over the nation.

"The award is given by the academy and not by the government so why return the awards when expressing anger against the government?" he asked adding he was heartened to hear that the academy was taking up the issue of violence with the Central government.

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