Noted Hindi writer Amar Kant has been awarded the 2009 Vyas Samman, one of top literary awards of the country, for his work Inhin Hathiyaron Se.
Set in the backdrop of rural Balia, the novel opens with the Quit India movement of 1942 and journeys to Independence in 1947. The writer, too, was born in Bhagdalpur village of the eastern Uttar Pradesh district.
The Vyas Samman, given each year to an outstanding literary work by an Indian citizen in any Indian language, carries a cash prize of Rs 2.5 lakh.
“We want a democracy in which all work hard and work for mutual independence and development,” says protagonist Suranjan Shastri, perhaps summing up the idea behind the novel. Kant’s 2003 work witnesses a clash of ideology as well. While Nilesh is influenced by Gandhian ideology, Gopal, another character, is a staunch critic of the Mahatma.
Inhin Hathiyaron Se, which loosely translates to through these weapons, is considered among the finest works of Kant, who say contemporaries and admirers has carried forward Premchand’s legacy and art of story-telling.
A member of the Nai Kahani (new story) literally movement of the 1950s, Kant’s fictional art developed under the influence of the Progressive Writers’ Association, the magazine Kahani and the work of noted author Bhairav Prasad Gupt.
The Vyas Samman is the second most prestigious award given by the K K Birla Foundation, which has an extensive programme in literature in addition to other activities. There are three high-level awards in literature, the first being the Saraswati Samman, then the Vyas Samman and the third is the Bihari Puraskar.
An annual award, the Vyas Samman is given to an outstanding literary work published in the last 10 years that can belong to any genre of writing such as poetry, novel, short story, play, drama, history of language, criticism, essay or biography.