Marathi literary meet begins, amidst protest and slogan shouting

111

Yavatmal :- Vaishali Yede (28), a farm-widow of Yavatmal district on Friday evening inaugurated the three-day 92nd Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan meet, amidst protests from the audience for revoking the invitation of English writer, Nayantara Sahgal, to inaugurate the meet.

While speaking on the occasion, Vaishali narrated the plight of farmers of the region and said that her husband was the victim of the present system. Vaishali said she would not follow suit and fight back and would prove that she is an ideal farmer.

Well-known Marathi writer and chairman of last year’s Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan at Baroda, Laxmikant Deshmukh said that revocation of invitation to Sahgal was “unfortunate” and a wrong decision. Deshmukh said that disallowing well-known writer Sahgal in the conference was against Marathi culture and said, “I salute the ideology of Sahgal and condemn withdrawal of invitation for the meet to her.”

New chairman of the sammelan Aruna Dhere reiterated that the controversy created for inviting Sahgal was unfortunate. Nayantara is a very eminent writer and the opposition was unnecessary, Dhere said and described the revocation of invitation as a major mistake on the part of organisers.

Several youths, particularly from Sambhaji Brigade, protested against the Maharashtra minister for Education, Vinod Tawde when he stood to address the gathering.