News Karnataka
Wednesday, March 22 2023

Sahitya Academy award to Kannada writer Bhagwan justified

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Hubballi: “There is no connection between the writer’s controversial comments and the decision to give him the Sahitya academy award. The award is being conferred based on the books of the author. So the award conferred on KS Bhagwan is justifiable”, said Sahitya Academy president Malathi Pattanashetty here on Thursday.

Speaking at a press meet in the city, she said that few people have asked to withdraw Bhagwan’s name from the award for making derogatory comments against Hindu religion. “The opposition has been raised after rationalist Dabolkar and scholar Kalburgi’s murder. There is no government intervention in this matter”, she clarified.

Defending the title conferred on him, she said that the Karnataka Sahitya Academy is an autonomous organisation. The selection committee has identified 25 senior writers based on their writings on social justice and that Bhagwan is also one among them.

Earlier on Wednesday, an FIR was registered against K S Bhagwan by a person named Shyam Sudarshan Bhat from Hosamoole in Belthangady. The case was registered at Uppinangady police station, under the charges stating that Bhagwan has made derogatory comments on Hinduism and Hindu Gods, and that he has hurt the religious sentiments of the people.

As per the complaint, Bhagwan, on September 19, addressing an audience during the Periyar anniversary celebrations at Gandhi Bhavan near Kumarakripa in Bengaluru, made extreme statements.

A letter has been sent to CM Siddaramaiah to withdraw the honours given to K S Bhagwan, an English professor who has been nominated for the Karnataka Sahitya Academy award by the state government.

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