Gujarat-based writer Ganesh Devy, ‘Yuva Puraskar’-winning author Aman Sethi and four other eminent writers from Punjab returned their Sahitya Akademi awards on Sunday. Kannada writer Aravind Malagatti resigned from the body’s general council, joining the growing protest by writers over “rising intolerance” and “communal” atmosphere.

The 1983-born Aman Sethi’s ‘A Free Man’, a book of narrative reportage, had bagged the Akademi’s award for young writers under the age of 35 in 2012. The Mumbai-based writer said that he is returning his award as he was “shocked” at the literary body’s refusal to take “a firm stance” on the killing of rationalist writer MM Kalburgi.

Uday PrakashWriter Uday Prakash has always recoiled from the rich, the powerful and the pompous. He tells Shougat Dasgupta that mockery is the only recourse of the weak in Tehelka.

Uday Prakash is proud of the accent walls in his flat; he painted them himself, without help. He is proud too of his rooftop garden. The upholstery on the outdoor furniture may be fraying, faded by the city’s extreme weather and dusty from the nearby construction but all of it — the plants, the furniture, the many in his study downstairs, the computer — is the fruit of his ceaseless labour. He has considerable pride in his independence, his self-reliance. Now 61, he is perhaps less content by the fact of his hard-won recent success than by the way in which it was attained — without favour, without a leg-up in an industry, indeed a country, oozing with nepotists, flatterers, favour-curriers and mutual backscratchers.