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Manipur’s Dr Irungbam Deven wins Sahitya Akademi Award 2020

Author Deven is currently teaching MBBS students at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal. He has written 10 books of poetry to his credit so far.

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Imphal: Manipur’s eminent author and poet Dr Irungbam Deven will be conferred the Sahitya Akademi Award 2020 for his poem ‘Malangbana Kari Hai’.  The national academy of letters announced the names on Friday during the opening day of its annual ‘Festival of Letters’ event.

Author Deven is currently teaching MBBS students at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal. He has written 10 books of poetry to his credit so far.

Apart from Irungbam Deven, the others who won the award in poetry include Harish Meenakshi (Gujarati), Anamika (Hindi), RS Bhaskar (Konkani), Rupchand Hansda (Santali), and Nikhileswar (Telugu).

Veteran Congress leader and writer Veerappa Moily, Arundhathi Subramaniam, among others also will receive Sahitya Akademi Award 2020. While Subramaniam won the award for her poetry collection “When God is a Traveller” in English, Moily was named for his epic poetry titled “Sri Bahubali Ahimsadigvijayam” in Kannada.

The award list includes seven books of poetry, four novels, five short stories, two plays, and one each of memoirs and epic poetry in 20 Indian languages.

Nanda Khare (Marathi), Maheshchandra Sharma Gautam (Sanskrit), Imaiyam (Tamil) and Sri Hussain-ul-Haque were named as winners for their novels.

Apurba Kumar Saikia (Assamese), (late) Dharanidhar Owari (Bodo), (late) Hiday Koul Bharti (Kashmiri), Kamakant Jha (Maithili) and Gurdev Singh Rupana (Punjab) have received the award for short stories.

The Akademi has named Gian Singh (Dogri) and Jetho Lalwani (Sindhi) the winners for their plays, while Shankar (Mani Shankar Mukhopadhyay) in (Bengali) received the award for memoir.

“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 award (ie. between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2018),” the Akademi said.

The award, which will include a casket containing an engraved copper plaque, a shawl and an amount of Rs 1,00,000, will be presented at the award presentation function, which will be held at a later date.

The awards for Malayalam, Nepali, Odia and Rajasthani languages will be announced at a later date, the Akademi said in a statement.

Marathi writer Nanda Khare, however, has refused to accept the Sahitya Akademi award for his novel “Udya”, published in 2014.

“I was conveyed this afternoon that my novel ‘Udya’ was chosen for Sahitya Akademi award. I politely refused to accept the award since I have stopped accepting awards for the past four years. Society has given me a lot. So, I feel I shouldn’t accept more. This is entirely a personal reason and nothing political should be read into it,” The Indian Express quoted Khare as saying.

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