Organisers give in to threats of disruption of inaugural function

Organisers of the All India Marathi Literary meet have withdrawn the inaugural function invitation extended to noted English language author Nayantara Sahgal, who was at the forefront of the award wapsi campaign, after “some people” threatened to disrupt the function.

The decision was taken to “avoid any untoward incident”, after a political outfit threatened to disrupt the function, organisers said on Sunday. Sahgal was supposed to inaugurate the 92nd literary meet on January 11 in the presence of CM Devendra Fadnavis.

In a press release, Ramakant Kolte, working president of the literary meet’s reception committee, said the organisers have taken cognisance of the threat given by a political outfit. “Nayantara Sahgal’s name was proposed by the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal chief Shreepad Joshi of Nagpur, which was accepted by the organisers. A follow-up was taken by sending her a formal invitation,” it said.

The release said the organisers have decided to revoke Sahgal’s invitation “as a controversy has cropped up against her name and to avoid any un- toward incident from those who threatened to derail the literary meet”. “We have sent her a letter cancelling the invitation,” Kolte said. In a chat with Mirror, Sahgal, 91, expressed surprise over withdrawal of the invitation. “I received a letter on Sunday that they have cancelled my invitation. But no reason was mentioned in it. In fact, the organisers had sent me a very warm invitation and had arranged for my stay and travel. There must be some pressure on them, hence they cancelled my invitatio