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Arundhati Roy adamant about refusing Sahitya Akademi award
January 15, 2006 20:05 IST
Booker Prize winner and environment activist Arundhati Roy is unlikely to reconsider her decision to turn down this year's Sahitya Akademi award.
"There is no possibility of Roy reconsidering. Once she has declined the honour, she cannot change her mind despite the Akademi asking her to reverse her decision," sources close to the author said.
Roy had declined the award, saying she cannot accept the honour from an institution linked to a government whose policies she opposes, they told PTI.
Roy, who won the 1997 Booker for her first novel The God of Small Things, said in a letter to the Akademi that 'we are witness to police lathicharge on workers in Gurgaon, the killings of those agitating against big dams in Manipur and of tribals demonstrating against a steel unit in Orissa'.
The government was also keeping mum on 'the unconstitutional capture' of Afghanistan and Iraq by the US, she said.
Akademi Secretary K Sachidanandan said on Saturday that 'we are trying to pursuade her to reconsider her decision. We are telling her that the Akademi is intellectually and culturally purely autonomous, although it is funded by the government'.
The Sahitya Akademi would not replace her nomination in any case, he said - "There have been many occasions when we opposed government policies ourselves. There is absolutely no question of replacing Roy with anybody else. She will remain our awardee."
The honour that Roy has declined was for her book, The Algebra of Infinite Justice.