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Keki N Daruwalla: ‘The Akademi Has Not Even Condoled The Murder of Kalburgi’

A protest against the murder of M M Kalburgi

A protest against the murder of M M Kalburgi

The poet Keki N Daruwalla has written a strong letter to the president of the Sahitya Akademi expressing his shock that he has remained silent about the murder of writers, including that of M M Kalburgi, who was a member of the institution. Here is the full text:

Dear Dr. Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari,

What I am going to say may not be very pleasant. I have, since my return to the country in mid September, been quite perturbed at the inexplicable silence of the Akademi of which you are President, in regard to crimes against authors.

Keki Daruwalla. Credit: montrealprize.com

Keki Daruwalla. Credit: montrealprize.com

The letters from well known writers and their dismay at the Akademi’s apathy to murder of writers is indeed something extremely alarming. It is astonishing that you are not sensitive to this issue. Writers returning their awards, or resigning from positions in the Akademi, is something which has never been witnessed in the long history of the Akademi.

Late Prof. M.M. Kalburgi was a Sahitya Akademi award winner. He was murdered first thing in the morning on August 30. According to all the reports in papers that I have read, this was a murder of ideas that he held. Over a month has passed and the Akademi has not even held a Shok Sabha, condolence meeting in his honour. What does it say of the Akademi as an institution and of office bearers of this institution as upholders of our literary and cultural values?

The Akademi must hold a meeting and condole with the family. What is even more important, writers should feel free to express their anger and views at this dastardly crime. It is not just the crime that is condemnable, but also the distorted and warped thought process behind the act that needs to be vilified by our fellow writers.

I and other writers sincerely hope that you will stir the Akademi from its soporific stance and act. We need to fear no one in this matter.

Sincerely Yours

Keki N. Daruwalla