Joyshree Goswami Mahanta, the winner of Sahitya Akademi award for 2019 in Assemese, has promised to distribute the prize money to families of those killed during anti-citizenship law protests in Assam. Joyshree Goswami Mahanta, who is the wife of former Assam chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, said "I am not as happy as I should be" with the news of winning the Sahitya Akademi award.
Joyshree Goswami Mahanta, who is also a former Rajya Sabha member from AGP, took a dig at the party for supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), saying she is deeply hurt at the betrayal by "those elected by the people" as the law is not acceptable to the people of Assam.
Her husband, who is the founder president of the AGP, has been vocal in his criticism against the party leadership for not opposing the Act in public and its lone Rajya Sabha MP Birendra Prasad Baishya for voting in its favour.
"I received the news of being given the award but I am not as happy as I should be on hearing it due to the prevailing troubled situation in the state," Mahanta told PTI.
Mahanta is among the 23 people who were awarded the Sahitya Akademi award in various Indian languages for the year 2019. Mahanta was chosen for the Sahitya Akademi award for her novel "Chanakya". These writers and poets will receive the award, which comprises an engraved copper plate and Rs 1 lakh cash prize, on February 25, 2020 in Delhi.
One of the winners is senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor who was given the award for his English non-fiction work 'An Era of Darkness'.
"Young people have lost their lives for a cause and for their homeland and I have decided to pay my tribute to them by distributing the prize money among their families," Mahanta said.
"I am deeply distressed and hurt at the betrayal by those elected to Parliament from the state and to the assembly on the CAA issue as it is not acceptable to the people of Assam," she said.
"I have decided to take this step to pay my humble tribute to them and will be grateful to the families if they accept it. This my humble way of honouring them," she added.
Mahanta has to her credit several books including "Dronacharya", "Sreshta Bideshi Galpo", "Ekuki Dhemali Sadhu" and some volumes on Assam agitation. She was awarded the Padma Shri in 2018 and was Rajya Sabha member for a single term from 1999.
(With PTI Inputs)