Novelists Cyrus Mistry, KR Meera, poets Ramadarsh Mishra, KV Tirumalesh besides playwrights Uday Bhembre and Rabilal Tudu figure among those chosen for the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award this year.
Sahitya Akademi, India’s national academy of letters, was established in 1954. It is an organisation committed for promoting Indian literature throughout the world and it recognises 24 Indian languages including English. The Akademi has been awarding prizes to the most outstanding books of literary merit published in any of the major Indian languages.
The awards, announced were for six books of short stories, six of poetry, four novels, two books each of essays, criticism and plays, and one of memoirs. Theaward in Bengali will be announced at a later date, apress release from the academy said.
The awards were recommended by distinguished Jury members representing 23 Indian languages and approved by the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi which met here yesterday under the chairmanship of its President Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari.
Apart from Mistry (English) and Meera (Malayalam), the other novelists chosen for the awards are Jaswinder Singh (Punjabi), and Madhu Acharya ‘Ashawadi’ (Rajasthani).
Mistry gets the award for ‘Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer’, a work that portrays the life of the corpse bearers of the Parsi community, who are considered “unclean” by the community and lead a miserable existence in the premises of the Towers of Silence in Mumbai where the bodies are brought for the final rites.
The 45-year-old Meera gets the award for her novel “Aarachar” which has a female protagonist, Chetna Mullick who is fated to assist and inherit her father’s profession, that of an executioner .
Besides Mishra (Hindi) and Tirumalesh (Kannada), thepoets honoured with the award are Brajendra Kumar Brahma (Bodo), Dhian Singh (Dogri), Kshetri Rajan (Manipuri), and Ram Shankar Awasthi (Sanskrit).
Six writers awarded for their short stories are Kula Saikia (Assamese), Man Mohan Jha (Maithili), Gupta Pradhan (Nepali), Bibhuti Pattanaik (Odia), Maya Rahi (Sindhi), and Volga (Telugu).
Rasik Shah (Gujarati) and A. Madhavan (Tamil) have been awarded for their essays; Bhembre (Konkani), Tudu (Santali) for their plays; Bashir Bhadarwahi (Kashmiri) and Shamim Tariq (Urdu) for their books on criticism; and Arun Khopkar (Marathi) for his book on memoirs are among those honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Awards 2015.
The books were selected on the basis of recommendations made by a jury of three members in the concerned languages in accordance with the procedure laid down for the purpose.
According to the procedure, the Executive Board declared the awards on the basis of unanimous selections made by the jurors or selection made on the basis of majority vote. The awards relate to books first published during the five years immediately preceding the year of the awards (i.e. between January 1, 2009 and 31 December, 2013).
The award in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper-plaque, a shawl and a cheque of Rs. 1,00,000 will be presented to the authors of these books at a special function to be held on 16 February 2016 at New Delhi during the Festival of Letters organized by Sahitya Akademi.
The following is the list of award winners:
Assamese: Akashar Chhabi Aru Anyanya Galpa (Short Stories) : Kulu Saikia
Bodo: Baidi Dengkhw Baidi Gab (Poetry) : Brajendra Kumar Brahma
Dogri: Parchhamen Di Lo (Poetry) : Dhian Singh
English: Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer (Novel) : Cyrus Mistry
Gujarati: Antey Aarambh (Part I & II) (Essays) : Rasik Shah
Hindi: Aag Ki Hansi (Poetry) : Ramdarash Mishra
Kannada: Akshara Kavya (Poetry) : K V Tirumalesh
Kashmiri: Jamis Ta Kasheeri Manz Kashir Natia Adabuk Tawareekh (Criticism) : Bashir Bhadarwahi
Konkani: Karna Parva (Play) : Uday Bhembre
Maithili: Kissa (Short Stories) : Man Mohan Jha
Malayalam: Aarachar (Novel) : K R Meera
Manipuri: Ahingna Yekshiliba Mang (Poetry) : Kshetri Rajan
Marathi: Chalat-Chitravyooh (Memoirs) : Arun Khopkar
Nepali: Samayaka Prativimbaharu (Short Stories) : Gupta Pradhan
Odia: Mahishasurara Muhan (Short Stories) : Bibhuti Pattanaik
Punjabi: Maat Lok (Novel) : Jaswinder Singh
Rajasthani: Gawaad (Novel) : Madhu Acharya ‘Ashawadi’
Sanskrit: Vanadevi (Epic) : Ram Shankar Awasthi
Santali: Parsi Khatir (Play) : Rabilal Tudu
Sindhi: Mahengi Murk (Short Stories) : Maya Rahi
Tamil: Ilakkiya Suvadugal (Essays) : A Madhavan
Telugu: Vimuktha (Short Stories) : Volga
Urdu: Tasawwuf Aur Bhakti (Tanqeedi Aur Taqabuli Mutalea) (Criticism) : Shamim Tariq