The editorial says the words had been “misused by forces who are anti-Centre and anti-Centre’s nationalist ideologies”.
Hitting out at a poem by Gujarati poet Parul Khakhar on the bodies of suspected Covid victims found floating in the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, an editorial in the June edition of Gujarat Sahitya Akademi’s official publication slammed the poem for spreading “anarchy”. It also called those who discussed or circulated it “literary Naxals”.
Vishnu Pandya, the Akademi’s chairman, confirmed writing the editorial. Though the editorial has not directly mentioned the poem Shav Vahini Ganga, Mr Pandya confirmed that he meant the poem, which has drawn much praise and been translated into several languages.
The editorial, describing the poem as “pointless angst expressed in a state of agitation”, says the words had been “misused by forces who are anti-Centre and anti-Centre’s nationalist ideologies”.
“The said poem has been used as a shoulder to fire from by such elements who have started a conspiracy, whose commitment is not to India but to something else, who are Leftist, so-called liberals, to whom nobody pays any attention… Such people want to quickly spread chaos in India and create anarchy… They are active on all fronts and in the same way they have jumped into literature with dirty intentions. The purpose of these literary Naxals is to influence a section of people who would relate their own grief and happiness to this (the poem),” the editorial says.
The editorial goes on to note Poem writer Khakhar’s earlier works had been published by the Akademi, and she “ would be welcomed by Gujarati readers if she wrote some good pieces in the future”.