Kashmiri writer returns Sahitya award

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Noted Kashmiri writer and poet Ghulam Nabi Khayal has joined the bandwagon of authors returning their Sahitya Akademi awards, saying the minorities in the country today feel “unsafe and threatened”. “I have decided to return the award. The minorities in the country are feeling unsafe and threatened. They feel their future is bleak,” Khayal told PTI on Monday (October 12). Khayal, who won the prestigious honour for his book ‘Gashik Minaar’ (Luminaries) in 1975, said he would soon return the cash prize and copper plaque to the Akademi. “The government has failed in fulfilling its duty of protecting the minorities as enshrined in the Constitution of the country,” he said. “I cannot witness such worst situation as a mute spectator. So, I have decided to return the Akademi award in protest against the growing hatred against minorities in India,” he said. This is the first time that a Kashmiri writer has decided to return the literary honour to protest the “communal atmosphere” in some parts of the country “which is spreading its tentacles from Maharashtra to Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere”.

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