Marathi lit fest: Writer Nayantara Sahgal’s invitation revocation condemned
Farm widow Vaishali Yede Friday inaugurated the 92nd Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in Yavatmal amid protests from the audience and speakers for revoking the invitation of English writer Nayantara Sahgal to inaugurate the meet. Several protesting women wearing Sahgal mask were detained by police.
“My husband committed suicide, to be in the families of Adanis and Ambanis in his rebirth,” she quipped. She said she would not follow suit and fight back and prove that she is an ideal farmer.
Vaishali, 28, of Rajur village in Yavatmal district, said she was overwhelmed by the invitation to inaugurate the meet.
Yavatmal is one of the worst-hit districts of farmers’ suicide where an average one farmer commits suicide every day. Her husband Sudhakar killed himself over debts in 2011. She had a five year-old son and was pregnant again when she lost her husband.
Noted Marathi writer and chairman of last year’s Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan Laxmikant Deshmukh said that revocation of invitation to Sahgal was “unfortunate” and a wrong decision. “I salute the ideology of Sahgal and condemn withdrawal of invitation for the meet to her,” said Deshmukh.
Vidya Bal and BM Paraswale, who were slated to be felicitated, are not attending the meet. Intellectuals and literary figures such as journalist Girish Kuber, Gyanesh Maharaw and Nitin Kalekar too have withdrawn from the meet.