Udaipur: The Rajasthan Sahitya Akademi on Monday cancelled an award it had bestowed on author Hardan Harsh, as a controversy erupted after a group of academicians claimed that his fictional work shows Mira Bai, a Hindu mystic poet and devotee of Lord Krishna, and Mewar rulers in low light.
The ceremony was held on Sunday evening in Udaipur, in which Harsh’s book ‘Historical Mira’ was shortlisted by the RSA for its prestigious annual award Rangey Raghav given to an author for outstanding work in literature. A controversy surfaced after a group of academicians raised objections to the content of the book that they alleged projected Mira Bai and Mewar rulers in low light.
Mira Bai was of high character and ideals. Assassination of her character is unimaginable. Writing is good when it is based on facts and research. Imaginary writing without references is wrong, noted historian Raghvendra Manohar said. However, Harsh said that literature is not history. “I have written the book based on the references from Colonel Tods book,” he told reporters in Jaipur.
Rajasthan Sahitya Akademy Chairman Indu Shekhar said people are proud of the glory of Mira Bai and the Maharanas of Mewar. Controversy on Mira Bai is not at all acceptable. The decision of cancelling the award ceremony was taken in an emergency meeting of the RSA, Shekhar added.
In Udaipur, fringe groups today put down the event banners at the venue and warned RSA office bearers that indecent comments on Mira Bai and rulers of Mewar will not be tolerated, police said, adding that forces were deployed as a precautionary measure.