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Her protest is “in memory of the Indians who have been murdered, in support of all Indians who uphold the right to dissent, and of all dissenters who now live in fear and uncertainty”: The Hindu
To register her protest against what she described as “vicious assault” on India’s diversity, noted writer Nayantara Sahgal has returned the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award.
In a statement issued in New Delhi Ms. Sahgal, said her protest is “in memory of the Indians who have been murdered, in support of all Indians who uphold the right to dissent, and of all dissenters who now live in fear and uncertainty”.
Interview with Ritu Menon, author of Sahgal’s biography, Out of Line (4th Estate)
Let’s start with the structure of the biography
I took a bit of a chance by not beginning with Nayantara’s childhood. Normally, you begin with where the person was born and go through the whole childhood and get to adulthood and so on. I didn’t want to do that for two reasons: one, she had already written her autobiographies which covered her childhood. Her Prison and Chocolate Cake is a landmark autobiography so I didn’t want to repeat that; I also didn’t want to go into what Lytton Stratchey called ‘a vulgar succession of detail’. In a woman writer’s life, marriage is a very critical event; it’s a critical event in every woman’s life but in Nayantara’s case, her marriage (to Gautam Sahgal) and her writing more or less coincided. So I thought, ‘OK, let me see if I can begin with that definite moment in her life as a woman as well as a writer and see what I can do with that’. That entailed a circularity in the narrative which I would have to follow through. I would have to begin in the present and then go back into Nayantara’s earlier life.