Literary Awards in India
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for”
The above-mentioned quote is taken from Peter Weir’s movie “Dead Poet’s Society” which states the importance of literature in one’s life.
Book to a bibliophile is like food to the hungry and water to the thirsty. Books play a pivotal role in shaping a person’s outlook towards life. It is words and ideas which bring the real change in the psyche of a person.
To appreciate the great works of literature several awards are conferred all over the world. In India, there are various awards to honour the writers. Below we have mentioned some important awards-
Jnanpith Award – Highest literary Honour Award in Literature, in India.
Jnanpith Award which is also as Gyanpeeth Award was established in the year 1961. Awarded by the Gyanpeeth Trust, this award is the highest literary award in India. It is conferred to only those Indian citizens who have worked in any of the languages recognized in the Indian Constitution. A cash prize of 11 lakh rupees and a statue of Goddess Saraswati is presented as accolades to the winners.
Notable recipients: The first recipient of this award was G. Sankara Kurup who got it for his Malayalam work Otakuzha in 1965. Recently, in 2017 Krishna Sobti received the award for her contribution in Hindi.
Sahitya Akademi Fellowship
Bestowed by Sahitya Akademi, this award is stated to be the highest honour by the Government of India. The Akademi confers this award on a writer is by electing him as its Fellow. The awards are presented for immortal literary works by the writers in any of 22 officially approved languages(including English).
Notable recipients: Former President S Radhakrishnan was the first fellow. Leopold S. Senghor from Senegal was the first Honorary Fellow.
Sahitya Akademi Award
This award is given annually to the Indian writers by Sahitya Akademi, Government of India. Established in 1954, Sahitya Akademi Award is conferred for works written in any of the 22 languages recognized by the Indian Constitution (though Rajasthani is not one of the 22 official languages but the award has been given in this language). The writer is provided a cash prize of 1 lakh rupees along with a bronze plaque.
Notable recipients: The first award was bestowed on Makhanlal Chaturvedi for his book Him Tarangini in 1955. Other awardees include Kamal Vora ( Gujarati Poetry), Jerry Pinto ( English novel Em and the Big Hoom) and Nasira Sharma ( Parijat).
Apart from recognising the capabilities of the writers, these accolades serve as an inspiration to the writers.