The Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters committed for promotion of Indian Literature throughout the world celebrated its 60th Anniversary at Shillong, Meghalaya. It organised a festival here at the premises of the State Central Library to present the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2014 Award. The award ceremony witnessed the participation of writers and poets from all over the country who were felicitated with the Yuva Puraskar Award for their contribution in the field of literature in different languages of the country.
The first day of the award ceremony was attended by President of the Sahitya Akademi, Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari besides members of various literary groups and authors of the state.
Out of the 21 awardees, five of them represented the North Eastern States—One each from Manipur and Sikkim and three from Assam. Addressing the gathering as the Chief Guest, eminent English Writer, Jeet Thayil congratulated the awardees for their achievements while saluting their endeavors and love for literature the difficulties involved in poetry and short stories writing. Mr. Thayil said that despite the low economic income, uncertainty, lack of respect, less fame and others, the writers still chooses to stick on to their passion. “It is indeed a beautiful and an inspiring attitude,”
On the second day of the Young Writers Awardees meeting the writers saw a much interested crowd gather as they listen to the various speeches by the award winners.
“Writing is not only passion but it is also an important means to me. It is the most democratic and effective way of expressing our feelings, emotion, thought and ideas. That’s why I’ve embraced writing as a part of my life while neglecting other materialistic interests.” Said the Manipuri writer, Wangthoi Khuman.
Shanti Basumatary also recounted in her speech her experiences as a writer and describes one of her books, a collection of poems Thwinikhruibw Gwjasin Nwngni Gaba (your colour is redder than blood.). It is a collection of poems about the journey of women, their struggles, sadness and joy and other experiences of life; their sacrifices and their unconditional love.
Sylvannus Lamare member of the Sahitya Akademi, who is also the Principal of St Edmund’s College, Shillong. He stressed on the need to create a proactive mass movement among the local community that should include the general public, student’s union and the church community to increase the awareness among young readers. They should help the Khasi language to get the recognition it deserved as has been done by the other communities.