Nayantara Sahgal struck off literary meet
Organisers of the All India Marathi Literary Meet have withdrawn the inaugural session invitation to English language author Nayantara Sahgal, who was at the forefront of the “award wapsi” campaign, after “some people” threatened to disrupt the programme.
The decision was taken to “avoid any untoward incident and in view of the controversy that has cropped up against her name” after a political outfit threatened to disrupt the programme, the organisers said on Sunday.
Sahgal, 91, a Sahitya Akademi awardee, had been at the forefront of the 2015 “award wapsi” campaign against the “growing intolerance in the country” under the Narendra Modi government.
Sahgal is the niece of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Sahgal was supposed to inaugurate the 92nd literary meet on January 11 in the presence of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Marathi author Aruna Dhere will preside over the event.
In a media release issued on Sunday, the working president of the literary meet reception committee, Ramakant Kolte, said the organisers had taken cognisance of the threat issued by a political outfit.
“Nayantara Sahgal’s name was proposed by Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal chief Shreepad Joshi of Nagpur, which was accepted by the organisers. A follow-up was taken by sending her a formal invitation,” the media release stated.
The release said the organisers had decided to revoke Sahgal’s invitation “as a controversy has cropped up against her name and to avoid any untoward incident from those who threatened to derail the literary meet”.
“We have sent her a letter cancelling the invitation,” Kolte said, adding that the new name for the inauguration event was yet to be finalised.