PEN Stands in Solidarity with Indian Writers Protesting Murders
Delegates from 73 countries convened at the 81st PEN International Congress to stand in solidarity with the Indian writers and artists protesting against the silencing of independent voices by the killing of writers and artists. The resolution calls on the Indian government to provide better protection for such individuals and safeguard free speech as it is guaranteed by the Indian constitution.
Additionally, PEN International President, John Ralston Saul, has written a letter to the Indian government, which can be read here, demanding that authorities take immediate steps to protect the rights of everyone, including writers and artists. The letter echoes the concern and outrage felt by India’s creative community after the murders of three public intellectuals: M.M. Kalburgi, Govind Pansare, and Narendra Dabholkar, who were killed by unknown assailants. Kalburgi was the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, one of the highest honors and prestigious literary awards in India. The Akademi remains silent after the murder of Kalburgi, even as its members resign in protest and several previous award recipients have returned their awards.