Udupi, Jan 11: Renowned writer and critic G Rajasekhar's work `Bhahuvachana Bharatha' published in 2016 got him the Karnataka Sahitya Academy award. However, he refused to accept it citing “continued atmosphere of intolerance” in the country and in the State.
The senior thinker said, "I am thankful for the award but I have decided not to accept it since many writers in 2015 had rejected awards citing growing intolerance in the country. I feel the situation is still prevailing or has worsened. Writers and intellectuals are still scared to speak their mind."
“The right wing forces are now not censoring dissent. Instead, they are seeing to it that no one voices their dissent at all. There has already been a big public discussion on the issue of intolerance in the country. Right from the Mohammad Akhlaq incident at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to the attack on persons from minority communities in the coastal district of Karnataka, the situation has not changed,” said Rajasekhar, who is recovering from ill health at a private hospital here.
On Tuesday, the Academy announced honorary awards to five writers. Lifetime Achievement Award winners include noted critics Prof O L Nagabhushanaswamy, H S Srimathi, science writer Nagesh Hegde, writers Basavaraj Kukkarahalli and Dr Balasaheb Lokapur. They will get cash prizes of Rs 50,000, a citation and a memento.
The award ceremony will be held on February 7 in Bengaluru, where Odiya poet Gaurav Haridas will present the awards. Sixteen writers have also been selected for the 2015 book awards.
They are Satyamangala Mahadeva (poetry), Lata Gutti (novel), Anupama Prasad (short story), Chidananda Sali (play), H Shantaraja Aithal (essay), B S Pranatarthiharan (travelogue), Dodda Hulluru Rukkoji (biography), H L Pushpa (literary criticism), Vijayashree Haladi (children's literature), Na Someshwara (science literature), G Rajashekar (humanities), A V Navada (research), Shylaja (translation-creative), B S Jayaprakash Narayana (translation non creative), Gopal Vajapayee (non-fiction), and Deepa Girish (debut work). Seven writers won the endowment awards for 2014.They are Siddu M Satyannanavara (poetrymanuscript), Janagere Venkataramaiah (novel), Gajanana Sharma (biograpahy), Kavitha Rai (literary criticism), Jayalalitha (translation-creative), Champa Jayaprakash (debut work of the writer), Srinath Perur (translation from Kannada to English).