Sahitya Akademi president Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, however, questioned the actions of Sahgal, niece of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and Vajpeyi, a Hindi poet, saying authors should adopt a 'different way' to protest and not politicize the autonomous literary body. He said even during the Emergency the Akademi did not take a stand.
Opposition parties praised the two writers for 'standing up' to the idea of a 'plural' India. Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that 'cheap' political leaders are 'attacking' the very soul of India by 'decrying and denying' the country's diversity.
"By words, actions, innuendos, insinuations, public statements, the so-called cheap political leaders, with continued eerie silence by the Prime Minister, are dividing the very idea of India. "They are decrying and denying the diversity of India and they are attacking the very soul of India," he said.
Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, the Akademi's chairperson and himself a renowned Hindi poet, writer and critic, urged writers to adopt a different manner of protest and not to drag the literary body into politics.
"The Akademi is not a government organization but an autonomous body. The award is given to a writer for a chosen work and there is no logic to return the award because it is not like the Padma awards," he cited.
"The Akademi, India's national academy of letters translates the winning work into different languages and the awarded writer earns a lot of honour and prestige. Even if the writer returns the prize, what about the goodwill earned?," the writer added.

Latest News from India News Desk