Over the past one week, disgruntled writers and poets across the country have returned the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award to protest the increasing incidents of communal violence in India.

Several elite writers and poets have also resigned their posts in the 20-member General Council of the country's top literary body, saying that they were shocked at the level of intolerance on freedom of speech and expression.

Hindi writer Uday Prakash was the first to return the prestigious award. Writer Nayantara Sahgal and poet Ashok Vajpeyi followed Prakash in protesting the murders of rationalists like MM Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar. They also came out against the shocking Dadri incident, in which a mob lynched a Muslim man in Greater Noida over rumours of eating and storing beef.

Over 25 litterateurs have returned the prestigious Akademi award, while four have resigned elite posts of the organisation.

Here is the list of litterateurs who returned their Sahitya Akademi Awards*

No Litterateur Language
1 Uday Prakash Hindi writer
2 Nayantara Sahgal Indian English writer
3 Ashok Vajpeyi Hindi poet
4 Sarah Joseph Malayalam novelist
5 Ghulam Nabi Khayal Kashmiri writer
6 Rahman Abbas Urdu novelist
7 Waryam Sandhu Punjabi writer
8 Gurbachan Singh Bhullar Punjabi writer
9 Ajmer Singh Aulakh Punjabi writer
10 Atamjit Singh Punjabi writer
11 GN Ranganatha Rao Kannada translator
12 Mangalesh Dabral Hindi writer
13 Rajesh Joshi Hindi writer
14 Ganesh Devy Gujarati writer
15 Srinath DN Kannada translator
16 Kumbar Veerabhadrappa Kannada novelist
17 Rahmat Tarikere Kannada writer
18 Baldev Singh Sadaknama Punjabi novelist
19 Jaswinder Punjabi poet
20 Darshan Battar Punjabi poet
21 Surjit Patar Punjabi poet
22 Chaman Lal Punjabi translator
23 Homen Borgohain Assamese journalist
24 Mandakranta Sen Bengali poet
25 Keki N Daruwalla Indian English poet
26 Nand Bhardwaj Rajasthani Hindi writer

*The list does not include six Kannada writers who returned the State literary award on 3 October. Theatre artist Maya Krishna Rao has also returned her Sangeet Natak Akademi award on 12 October, while Shiromani Lekhak award winner Megh Raj Mitter has also announced to return his award.

List of litterateurs who resigned from Sahitya Akademi posts

No Litterateur Language
1 Shashi Deshpande Kannada author
2 K Satchidanandan Malayalam poet
3 PK Parakkadvu Malayalam writer
4 Aravind Malagatti Kannada poet