Eminent author Namita Gokhale, TMC MLA Bratya Basu and noted Punjabi writer Khalid Hussain were among the 20 names announced for the Sahitya Akademi Award 2021 on Thursday.
The annual awards, given 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 Namita Gokhale won the award for her 2016 historical epic novel ”Things to Leave Behind”, Bratya Basu and Khalid Hussain won the awards for a play and collection of short stories ”Sullan Da Salan”, respectively.
”Deeply honoured by 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 the vibrant Indian literatures. #ManyLanguagesOneLiterature @sahityaakademi @PenguinIndia @JaipurLitFest,” tweeted Gokhale.
The awards for Gujarati, Maithili, Manipuri and Urdu languages will be announced at a later date, the 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 as winners for poetry.
Apart from Hussain, the others who won the award for short stories include Raj Rahi (Dogri), Kiran Gurav (Marathi), Niranjan Hansda (Santali) and Ambai (Tamil). Other winners of the award are DS Nagabhushana (Kannada) for a biography, George Onakkoor (Malayalam) for an autobiography, Daya Prakash Sinha (Hindi) for a play, Wali Mohd Aseer Kashtawari (Kashmiri) for criticism, Anuradha Sarma Pujari (Assamese) for novel and Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Nepali) for epic poetry.
”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 (between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2019),” 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.