The family of noted Tamil poet and dramatist Inquilab has decided to decline the Sahitya Akademi award that has been posthumously conferred on him.
Talking to TNM after the awards were announced, the poet’s daughter Dr Amina said that her father would not have accepted the award from a government that ‘does not act against communal and casteist elements.’
The poet passed away in December last year when he was 72 years old and is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. According to The Hindu, he was a Marxist-Leninist and was open about his pride in Tamil nationalism. Born as Sahul Hameed at Keezhakarai in Ramanathapuram district, he was reportedly closely associated with the Vaanampadi poetry movement. He had also worked as a Tamil professor at New College in Chennai.
“My father would not have accepted this award even if he were alive,” says Amina to a media portal. “We are merely following his wishes. He is someone who has always spoken for the backward castes and didn’t think the current governments at the Centre and state level adhere to that,” she adds.
Amina further says that her father never wrote for the sake of awards. “He had told us before he died that this government giving the awards was communal in nature and that he won’t accept it,” she says.
“Moreover, they have failed to stop the killing of several writers and rationalists,” she adds.
In a Facebook post, Inquilab’s family has said that the face of the government may change but the mask they wear doesn’t. It further accuses them of allowing communalism, casteism and violence to have a free run.
The family will reportedly send a formal letter to the Akademi explaining their decision.
According to them, Inquilab had always said, “The multiple times I was called by the police for interrogations was like awards for me.”