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Having bagged 58 awards,Himachal forgets to honour its own greats

State BJP government seems to have forgotten to honour its own in the field of literature and culture.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Shimla |
March 14, 2012 3:35:45 am

Basking in the glory of 58 awards received from national,international and other reputed bodies for its achievements in the past four years,the state BJP government seems to have forgotten to honour its own in the field of literature and culture.

The state’s Academy of Language,Art and Culture gives five awards,carrying a sum of Rs 51,000 each,in different categories every year. The Department of Language,Art and Culture,under which the academy functions,has also instituted one annual award. But not a single award,out of the total six,has been given since 2002.

These awards are Pt Chander Dhar Sharma Guleri State Award in Hindi Sahitya (Hindi literature),Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar State Award in Sanskriti (culture),Pahari Gandhi Baba Kanshi Ram State Award for Pahari Bhasha (Pahari language),State Award for Sanskrit,and State Award for Urdu. The department’s award is called Himachal Sahitya Samman that carries a cash prize of Rs 31,000.

A senior official said,“The awards could not be given because of some legal disputes. A former official of the academy had committed some irregularities in selecting undeserving people. There is an inquiry going on. But now a committee has been formed to finalise the awards.”

However,insiders say it’s mainly due to lack of funds that the academy and the department have not given away the awards.

Rajendra Rajan,a former award-winner of the academy,had filed an RTI application in November 2011 to know why the awards were not being announced. When he got no clear response,he approached the state’s Chief Information Commissioner Bhim Sen,who passed an order in February this year directing the authorities concerned to provide the required information to the applicant but nothing has happened as yet. “It’s strange that the government has not announced annual awards for so long. It’s the duty of the government to carry forward the tradition of honouring writers and literary personalities,” Rajan said.

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