A litterateur-cum-Rajasthan Administrative Officer (RAS) has announced to return his Sahitya Academi Award along with the prize money worth Rs 1 lakh in protest of growing intolerance in the country.
Ambika Dutt Chaturvedi (59), who is the registrar of University of Kota, was awarded the Kendriya Sahitya Academi Award in 2013 for his collection of Rajasthani poems titled ‘Aanthyui nhi din haal’ (It is not sunset yet). Chaturvedi said, “Society has space for different ideologies and cultural systems but when litterateurs felt that intolerance is growing to such an extent that it is now killing individuals, they took the decision of returning awards,” he said.
When asked about implications of his profession while returning this award, Chaturvedi said he was awarded for his literature and not for being an administrative officer. He added that his decision should not be given a political perspective, since he has no political inclination.
Nand Bhardwaj, a Rajasthani writer, had also returned his Sahitya Akademi award as a symbolic protest against the assaults on litterateurs.