Rajasthani writer Nand Bhardwaj has returned his Sahitya Akademi award, blaming the literary body of failing to "protect" the rights of writers. In a letter to Secretary of Sahitya Akademi on Wednesday, Bhardwaj, also attached a check of Rs.50,000 which he got with the award in 2004 and sent "prateek chinh" separately. "My sentiments are hurt the way MM Kalburgi was shot dead and Akademi is unable to do anything to protect the rights of writers and not even expressed any condolence on this serious issue", showing letter to media persons, the former DD Director, commented. Bhardwaj has won the prestigious honour for his book 'Samhi khulto marag.'
Not only writers the common man’s feeling were also threatened in the present scenario where freedom of expression has been facing fundamentalist and communal challenges, he alleged. “This is a protest against religious and creative intolerance which is rising in recent time,” he added. Mr. Bhardwaj is also the Rajasthan coordinator for Jaipur Literature Festivals, since its inception. With this, at least 29 authors including Nayantara Sahgal and Ashok Vajpeyi have decided to return their Akademi awards and five writers have stepped down from official positions of the literary body, which in turn has convened an emergency meeting on October 23, 2015 to discuss the developments.