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Sabnis slams literary body over non-publication of his speech

sripal Sabnis

Pune : Marathi literary meet chief Sripal Sabnis today criticised the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal for not publishing his presidential speech while describing it as “intolerant”.

Sabnis, president of 89th ‘Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan’- the annual Marathi literary meet, said the apex literary body should publish and distribute the presidential speech before the President delivers it in the meet.

Notably, Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal organises the annual Marathi literary meet.

“However it seems that the content in the speech irked the Mahamandal as it touched on issues of Muslims, farmers and dalits,” he alleged.

“The Mahamandal was supposed to publish my speech. However till date, they have been buying time for no reason and it shows that they are intolerant and I have been subjected to injustice,” he told PTI.

Miffed, Sabnis has now given an ultimatum till January 26 and warned to sit on a fast along with his wife outside the Mahamandal office here on January 27 if his speech is not published.

The Sammelan was held here from January 16-18 amid a huge row over Sabnis’ remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan. He, however, tendered an apology later.

Sabnis said he himself bore the expense of publishing 2000 copies of his own speech which was distributed during the literary meet.

He has also demanded a refund for the expenses from the literary body.

He said the reason cited for not publishing the speech saying that its “too lengthy” holds no water.

In his controversial remarks, Sabnis, an eminent writer, had said Modi could have fallen to a bullet or a bomb explosion at the Lahore airport during his surprise visit to Pakistan on December 25 and that a condolence meeting would have been organised first for the prime minister instead of the Marathi poet Mangesh Padgaonkar, who died recently.

Mahamandal chief Madhavi Vaidya could not be reached for comment.

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