Prominent writer Namita Gokhale, TMC MP Bratya Basu and acclaimed Punjabi writer Khalid Hussian were among 20 names announced for the 2021 Sahitya Akademi Award on Thursday.
The annual prizes, awarded in 20 Indian languages, included seven books of poetry, two novels, five short stories, two plays, one book each of biography, autobiography, criticism and epic poetry.
While Gokhale won the award for his 2016 historic epic novel “Things to Leave Behind”, Basu and Hussain took home the award for a play and short story collection “Sullan Da Salan” respectively.
“Deeply honored with the Sahitya Akademi Prize for English, 2021 for my novel Things To Leave Behind. Feel a deep sense of pride and gratitude to belong to vibrant Indian literatures. #ManyLanguagesOneLiterature @sahityaakademi @PenguinIndia @JaipurLitFest,” a Gokhale tweeted.
Deeply honored with the Sahitya Akademi Award for English, 2021 for my novel Things To Leave Behind. Feel a deep sense of pride and gratitude to belong to vibrant Indian literatures. #ManyLanguagesOneLiterature @sahityaakademi @PenguinIndia @JaipurLitFest pic.twitter.com/RbNuJdtAXv
– Namita Gokhale (@NamitaGokhale_) December 30, 2021
The awards for the Gujarati, Maithili, Manipuri and Urdu languages will be announced at a later date, Akademi said in a statement.
Mwdal Gahai (Bodo), Sanjiv Verenkar (Konkani), Hrushikesh Mallick (Odia), Meethesh Nirmohi (Rajasthani), Vindeshwariprasad Mishr ‘Vinay’ (Sanskrit), Arjun Chawia (Sindhi) and Gorati Venkannat (Telugu) were named for the poetry.
Besides Hussain, other news award winners are Raj Rahi (Dogri), Kiran Gurav (Marathi), Niranjan Hansda (Santali) and Ambai (Tamil).
The other award winners are DS Nagabhushana (Kannada) for a biography, George Onakkoor (Malayalam) for an autobiography, Daya Prakash Sinha (Hindi) for a play, Wali Mohd Aseer Kashtawari (Kashmir) for the review, Anuradha Sarma Pujari (Assamese) for the novel and Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Népali) for the epic poetry.
“The books were selected on the basis of the recommendations made by a three-member jury in the languages concerned according to the procedure provided for this purpose.
“According to the procedure, the Executive Council pronounced the awards on the basis of unanimous selection of jurors or on the basis of a majority vote. The awards are for books first published in the five years immediately preceding the award year (between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2019), ”Akademi said.
The prize, which will include a coffin containing an engraved copper plaque, a shawl and an amount of Rs 1,000,000, will be presented at the award ceremony to be held at a later date.
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