Is Kerala Sahitya Akademi making a mockery of Akademi award?
An application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by the nominee of Akademi award revealed that all the books nominated for the award are not read by the jury. The Akademi has 11 awards in different categories, each fetching Rs. 25,000, a citation and a plaque. Jaison Panikulangara’s book ‘Kargil Yatra’ written in Malayalam was nominated for the Sahitya Akademi award. His book had been widely acknowledged by writer C.Radhakrishnan and D.Vinayachandran for instilling patriotism in every reader. He filed a RTI application with the Kerala Sahitya Akademi to enquire about the award selection procedure being followed by the Kerala Sahitya Akademi. The reply to the application reveals that around 69 books were received in the travelogue category. The Akademi secretary informed that there is no grading system, a seven-member committee screens the books and submits only 10 of them to the three-member jury for final evaluation. According to the applicant all the books submitted in the 11 categories were not read by the jury thereby making a clear mockery of the whole award exercise.