Sahitya Akademi, India’s academy of letters, on February 12, 2018 conferred the annual Sahitya Akademi Awards for the year 2017 on litterateurs of 23 different regional languages.
Sahitya Akademi President Chandrashekhar Kambar presented the winners with a citation, a shawl and a cheque of Rs 1 lakh.
The 2017 list of winners include Hindi critic Ramesh Kuntal Megh, Gujarati critic Urmi Ghanshyam Desai, KP Ramanunni, Mamang Dai, Shiv Mehta, Rita Boro, Afsar Ahmed, Jayanta Madhab Bora and TP Ashok.
However, the family of Tamil award winner Makkal Pavalar Inqulab, on whom the award was conferred posthumously, turned down the award. On the other hand, Malayalam writer KP Ramanunni gave away his Sahitya Akademi Award prize money (Rs 1 Lakh) to mother of Junaid Khan, who was killed in a train in June 2017 while returning home in Haryana after Eid shopping.
• English: Mamang Dai was awarded in English language for his novel The Black Hill.
• Hindi: Ramesh Kuntal Megh won the award in Hindi for his literary criticism work Vishw Mithak Sarit Sagar.
• Sanskrit: Niranjan Mishra was awarded for his Sanskrit novel Gangaputravadanam
• Malayalam: KP Ramanunni won for Daivathinte Pusthakam in Malayalam
• Punjabi: Nachhattar was awarded for his Punjabi novel Slow Down.
• Poets: Udaya Narayana Singh (Maithili), Shrikant Deshmukh (Marathi), Bhujanga Tudu (Santali), Inqulab (Tamil) and Devipriya (Telugu). However, Tamilian poet Inqulab’s family refused to accept the award for his collections of poems titled "Kaandhal Naatkal.
• Short Stories: Shiv Mehta (Dogri), Autar Krishen Rahbar (Kashmiri), Gajanan Jog (Konkani), Gayatri Saraf (Odia) and Baig Ehsas (Urdu).
• Literary Criticism: Ramesh Kuntal Megh (Hindi), TP Ashoka (Kannada), Urmi Ghanshyam Desai (Gujarati), Bina Hangkhim (Nepali) and Neeraj Daiya (Rajasthani).
• Essay: Jagdish Lachhani (Sindhi) was awarded for his essays.
• Play: Rajen Toijamba (Manipuri) won for his play.
About Sahitya Akademi
• Sahitya Akademi award is a literary honour that is conferred annually on Indian authors/writers for their outstanding works of literary merit.
• The award, established in 1954, is given on books of literary merit written in any of the major languages of India.
• Indian film-maker Satyajit Ray is the designer of the plaque awarded by the Sahitya Akademi.
Sahitya Akademi Awards 2017 announced
When: 12 February 2018