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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

MNS chief Raj Thackeray apologises after writer Nayantara Sahgal dropped from Marathi literature meet

The Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Parishad had withdrawn invitation to the English language author Nayantara Sahgal to “avoid any untoward incident” after a political outfit threatened to disrupt the event if she was invited.

india Updated: Jan 07, 2019 13:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
MNS chief Raj Thackeray said he and his party have no objection to the presence of English language author Nayantara Sahgal being invited to a Marathi literature event.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray said he and his party have no objection to the presence of English language author Nayantara Sahgal being invited to a Marathi literature event. (HT File )
         

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray said on Monday his party has no objection or opposition to writer Nayantara Sahgal’s presence at a Marathi literary meet, after its organisers withdrew the invitation over threats by a member of his party.

The Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Parishad said the decision to revoke the invitation to the 91-year-old author was taken to “avoid any untoward incident” after a political outfit threatened to disrupt the event if she was invited.

“The sentiments behind the resistance by my colleague were stemming from the fact that the very essence of Marathi language needs to be safeguarded. Though his sentiments are correct, one has to take into account the very fact that a very senior and noted writer like Nayantara Sahgal is going to be present at the literary meet,” Thackeray said in his note.

“When in her presence, our profound culture and traditions stand unveiled, it can become a medium to exhibit our culture to the rest of the world. Keeping this in mind, my party and I have no objection to it,” he said.

Thackeray also expressed his “sincere apology” to the organisers of the meet for any “inconvenience and strain”.

“I want all the sainiks to discuss such sensitive topics and issues with me before taking any stand in future,” he said.

 

Sahgal, a Sahitya Akademi winner, was at the forefront of the “award wapsi” or return of the awards campaign in 2015 against the “growing intolerance in the country” under Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.

The niece of the first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was invited to inaugurate the 92nd literary meet in Yavatmal in the presence of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.