Goa writers not to return awards

Panaji, Oct 15 (IANS) Resolving not to return their awards, Goa writers on Thursday denounced the growing culture of intolerance towards freedom of speech.

Addressing a press conference in Panaji, the 11 Konkani award-winning writers said they would create a lobby of other creative artists and other Padma award winners from Goa.

“We are disheartened by the lack of adequate response of the Sahitya Akademi following the murder of M.M. Kalburgi. While we have resolved not to return our awards, we are conveying our sentiments to the Akademi. We want them to speak out at the meeting of the committee which will be held soon,” writer Damodar Mauzo said.

The press conference was also addressed by other writers — Pundalik Naik, Dilip Borkar, Datta Naik, Hema Naik, Nagesh Karmali, N. Shivdas. All are recipients of the prestigious award for their writing in Konkani.

Datta Naik said that the 11 writers would network with other musicians and Padma award winners like popstar Remo Fernandes, designer Wendell Rodricks and conduct series of activity, which would amplify the concerns of the creative artists vis-a-vis the contempt, which he said was being shown to writers, who were protesting by giving up their awards.

The writers also said that they would protest during the forthcoming 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

“We will meet Governor Mridula Sinha and express our concerns to her… We will also be carrying out protests during the IFFI,” Naik said.

The IFFI, one of Asia’s largest film events starts in Goa in November.

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