Nayantara invite fallout: Top literary head quits

Nagpur: In a major fallout of the Nayantara Sahgal invite withdrawal, Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal (ABMSM) President Shripad Joshi has quit his post, a top official said on Wednesday.

"Yes, we have learnt that he has resigned from his post. I am awaiting details. However, the ABMSM will meet on January 10 to elect a new President," Vidarbha Sahitya Sangh (VSS) President Manohar Mhaisalkar told IANS.

Apparently disgusted by the nationwide backlash after the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (ABMSS) organisers unceremoniously withdrew Sahgal's invite to inaugurate the ABMSS 92nd literary conference, Joshi emailed his resignation to the organisers, hours before the mega-event opens in Yavatmal.

He said that he was "tired" of replying to media queries since the past couple of days after the Sahgal episode burst into open and has not been able to discharge his duties as the ABMSM President.

Joshi was caught in a cross-fire with some pointing fingers at him for withdrawing Sahgal's invite and blaming the ABMSS organisers for the fiasco, probably leading to his decision to quit.

The ABMSS, which will be presided over by eminent Marathi author Aruna Dhere of Pune, is also expected to finalise the dignitary who will replace Sahgal for the inaugural honours at the three-day event starting on January 11, added Mhaisalkar.

After the Sahgal episode, many writers and invitees have already threatened to boycott the 92nd ABMSS for the treatment meted out to the 91-year-old English writer (Sahgal).

Established in 1960, the ABMSM is the influential apex body of all Marathi literary organisations in Maharashtra and other parts of India, besides a few abroad, under whose auspices the annual literary conventions are organized.

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