Sahitya Akademi Award

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sahitya Academy Award
Sahitya Akademi Award - Surjit Patar.JPG
Category Literature (Individual)
Description Literary award
in India
Instituted 1954
First awarded 1955
Last awarded 2014
Awarded by Sahitya Akademi, Government of India

The Sahitya Akademi Award (Devnagari: साहित्य अकादमी पुरस्कार) is a literary honor in India, which the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, annually confers on writers of the most outstanding books of literary merit published in any of the major Indian languages recognised by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi.[1]

Established in 1954, the award comprises a plaque and a cash prize of Rs. 100,000.[2] The award's purpose is to recognize and promote excellence in Indian writing and also acknowledge new trends. The annual process of selecting awardees runs for the preceding twelve months. The plaque awarded by the Sahitya Akademi was designed by the Indian film-maker Satyajit Ray.[3] Prior to this, the plaque occasionally was made of marble, but this practice was discontinued because of the excessive weight. During the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965, the plaque was substituted with national savings bonds.[4]


Other literary honours[edit]

Sahitya Akademi Fellowships[edit]

They form the highest honor which the Akademi confers through a system of electing Fellows and Honorary Fellows. (Sahitya Akademi Award is the second-highest literary honor next to a Sahitya Akademi Fellowship).

Bhasha Samman[edit]

Sahitya Akademy gives these special awards to writers for significant contribution to Indian languages other than the above 24 major ones and also for contribution to classical & medieval literature. Like the Sahitya Akademi Awards, Bhasha Samman too comprise a plaque and a cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000(from 2009)

Translation Awards[edit]

Established in 1989, Sahitya Akademi annually gives these awards for outstanding translations of major works in other languages into one of the 24 major Indian languages. The awards comprise a plaque and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000.

Anand Coomarswamy Fellowships[edit]

Named after the Indian writer Ananda Coomaraswamy, the fellowship was started in 1996. It is given to scholars from Asian countries to spend 3 to 12 months in India to pursue a literary project.

Premchand Fellowships[edit]

Named after Hindi writer Premchand, the fellowship was started in 2005. It is given to persons of eminence in the field of Culture from SAARC countries.

Return of Sahitya Akademi Awards[edit]

However, as of 2015 the award has been returned by many writers for various reasons.[5] As many as 40 prominent writers have also announced their returning of the award in protest at the "rising intolerance in India" under its present government. The first to return the award was Uday Prakash, a Hindi writer, on 4 September 2015 in protest at the murder of M M Kalburgi, a Kannada Sahitya Akademi award winner.[6] Following Prakash, prominent writers including Nayantara Sahgal, Ashok Vajpeyi and women veteran writers Krishna Sobtiand Shashi Deshpande have also returned their awards. Joining the chorus, many writers announced their returning of the award in protest at the murder of Kalburgi as well as the Dadri incident in Greater Noida, where a Muslim man was lynched by a mob after hearing rumors of him eating and storing beef. Among others, Ajmer Aulakh, Aman Sethi, Ganesh Devi, Kum Veerabhadrappa and Shashi Deshpande have publicly announced their return of the award.[7] To show their condemnation Deshpande, K Satchidanandan, PK Parakkadvu and Aravind Malagatti have also resigned their posts at the Sahitya Akademi institution. Expressing solidarity and condemning the killings of writers, the Sahitya Akademi, admonished the protesters to take back their awards. Mandakrata Sen, Bengali poet, who returned the Sahitya Akademi award in early October, 2015 was contacted by the authorities of Sahitya Akademi requesting that she take the award back. However, she stood by her decision and announced that she would not take it back.[8] Writing for The Statesman, Saket Suman noted, "The Akademi's resolution, however, comes after almost two months since the murder of Prof Kalburgi (30 August). The memorandum fails to explain why "the only autonomous institution of Indian literature in all its diversities" took 54 days to publicly condemn the death of a Sahitya Akademi recipient and other rationalist thinkers." [9]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]