Novelist C Radhakrishnan quits Sahitya Akademi over Centre's political interference

C Radhakrishnan. Photo: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: Malayalam novelist C Radhakrishnan has resigned as the eminent member of the Sahitya Akademi marking his protest against the politicisation of the national body of letters. 

In his letter to Akademy secretary Dr Sreenivasa Rao, Radhakrishnan expressed his disappointment over Akademi's decision to invite a Union minister to inaugurate its festival. 

“I would like to clarify that I am not against any particular political party. I protest against the politicisation of the body which erodes the independent stature of the Akademi. The other two Akademies (Sangeet Natak and Lalit Kala) were robbed of their autonomy a long time ago. I hope and pray my fellow writers, young and old, would realise the severe danger this Akademi too is drifting towards,” he wrote. 

He claimed that the Akademi had promised to keep politicians away from its events after a state minister's presence triggered a row.

“Again, as you very well know the far-sighted Founding Fathers of the Sahitya Akademi gave it a constitution capable of resisting all attempts to undermine the democratic autonomy of this institution and enable it to survive unmolested. Political bosses are now reported to be smarting even to redraft the constitution of the Akademi! Sorry, I can't be a silent witness to the funeral of the very last democratically autonomous institution of culture in the nation,” he added.

Talking to Manorama News, Radhakrishnan confirmed his decision to step down after observing frequent political interventions in its administration. He added that he tendered his resignation to the secretary on Monday.

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