Acclaimed writer Nayantara Sahgal on Friday denied media reports that she has agreed to take back her Sahitya Akademi award, which she had returned in October. Sahgal had returned the award as a protest against the increasing attacks on the right to dissent in India and the Sahitya Akademi's silence over attacks on writers and rationalists in the country. She had won the award in 1986 for her novel Rich Like Us.
A Hindustan Times report had quoted her saying, “The Akademi wrote a letter to me saying it is against their policy to receive returned awards and therefore they are sending back the award. I will use the money for a worthwhile cause and welfare schemes.” However, Sahgal said on Friday that she had been misquoted, adding, "I am not taking back either the award or the cheque, which is now invalid anyway. My protest against the crushing of dissent stands, and I shall continue to speak and act for the freedom of expression."