Well-known Punjabi writer Mohan Bhandari (78) on Wednesday confirmed his decision to return the Sahitya Akademi award which he won for his collection of short stories ‘Moon di Akh’ in 1997, in solidarity with the nationwide protest by writers against growing intolerance and killing of writers in Karnataka.
Bhandari, who has been ailing for some time, told HT, “It pains me to see growing intolerance and communalism against which us writers have always raised a strong voice in our writings. Returning the award is a way of bringing attention to the disturbing conditions prevailing in the country today.”
The city-based writer was born in Banbhaura village in Sangrur district in 1937. A prolific writer of short fiction as well as a translator, he has to his credit five collections of short stories and five books of stories translated from Hindi and Urdu besides a number of books edited by him.