Guwahati; Aug. 19: The Asam Nepali Sahitya Sabha today alleged that Dispur was depriving Nepali writers from literary pensions and awards.
The state government had recently announced the names of 21 people for the state literary pension, as selected by a high-powered committee, and 20 people for the literary award for the year 2013-14.
The Sabha said not a single person was selected from the Nepali community.
It said this was the third consecutive year that the state government did not select a Nepali writer despite the fact that several eligible writers from the community applied for the prestigious award and pension.
“It is a matter of regret that the Assam government did not select a single writer from the Nepali community. We are worried because this has happened despite several Nepali writers applying for it,” said Dambar Dahal, president of the Sabha.
“Forget about literary pension. The Nepali writers have been deprived even from the one-time financial assistance. There are many Nepali writers in the state who write in both Assamese and Nepali and have been honoured with national-level awards,” said Dahal.
The Sabha urged the state government to avoid its “discriminatory” attitude and help the community by encouraging its writers by giving financial assistance.
Bhabani Prasad Adhikari, former general secretary of Asam Sahitya Sabha, said it has been noticed that while many renowned persons are deprived of the government’s literary award and pension, many undeserving persons get it.
“I have seen a few names in this year’s list who do not have any significant literary merit,” said Adhikari.
A writer who has at least five quality books to his credit and is over 60 years can apply for the pension, which is Rs 4,000 a month.
“Many prominent persons do not get the award as they consider it a matter of prestige to apply for it. Persons like Hiren Gohain received the pension only from last year,” Adhikari said.