Guwahati: Joining the league of Sahitya Akademi awardees returning their awards in protest against growing intolerance in the country, Assam’s litterateur and journalist Homen Borgohain has also decided to return the honour.
Writing in a vernacular newspaper in Assam, Borgohain said: “There has been a silent protest inside me since the Dadri killing (in Uttar Pradesh). But I failed to find a way to express this.
“Now after seeing at least 10 Akademi winners returning their awards one after another against the growing religious intolerance, I too felt to have got a way to express my protest.”
Stating his reasons for taking such a step, he wrote: “However, my symbolic protest to return the Sahitya Akademi award is not only against the Dadri killing but against the growing fascist tendency in the country and against the evil forces trying to hit hard at the core ideology of Indian civilisation and culture.
“Today, I have publicly announced that I am returning the award. However, I am not aware of the process on how to return the award to the Akademi. I’ll discuss with the officials of the Akademi to complete the formality of returning the award,” he said.
Homen Borgohain is a well-known Assamese writer, columnist and journalist. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1978 in Assamese language for his novel ‘Pita Putra’ (Father Son).
According to the litterateurs returning their Sahitya Akademi awards, free speech and writing is being suppressed in the country. Some of them feel that the recent lynching of a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri area on suspicion of eating beef showed that a communal atmosphere was being built up.