THE activists of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, Akhil Bharatiya Sahitya Parishad, Hindu Manch, Rashtriya Sevika Samiti and many other organisations of Delhi stormed the Kamani Auditorium on February 16 when the Sahitya Academy organised a function to honour the controversial Telugu writer Dr Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad for his novel Draupadi.
As the writer was called on the dais for presenting the award, some people sitting among audience stood up and started shouting slogans against the writer. They jumped over the dias. Some of them also threw shoes, slippers and other things on the writer. Later, the police took the agitating activists out of the auditorium.
In his novel Dr Prasad has presented Draupadi in highly objectionable manner and used highly immoral words for her. The activists demanded immediate arrest of the writer and also withdrawal of the award to him. The function had to be cancelled due to the protest.
The protestors were led by Shri Dinanath Batra of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, Shri Pravin Arya of Akhil Bharatiya Sahitya Parishad and Shri Jaibhagwan Chauhan of Hindu Manch. Later, talking to Organiser Shri Pravin Arya said the chairman of the Sahitya Academy should apologise to the nation for honouring the blasphemous writer who insulted Draupadi. He warned if the chairman did not apologise for this misdeed, they would continue their protest and would also stage dharna outside the Sahitya Academy.
Talking to Organiser Shri Dina Nath Batra said Draupadi is a great character depicted in Mahabharat but in the book she has been described to be a woman of low character and is attributed with sleazy expressions and immoral laisons with the great characters. He said the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression cannot hurt the religious sentiments of others. Dr Batra has also written a letter to the chairman of Sahitya Academy Sunil Gangopadhyaya demanding immediate cancellation of the award.