The embarrassed organisers of Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan has decided to invite a farm widow to inaugurate the three-day conference that will begin from Friday at drought-hit Yavatmal.
Dr Ramakant Kolte, executive president of the 92nd edition of the Marathi literary meet, informed that the decision was taken in a meeting held at Yavatmal Thursday. Earlier, the organisers unceremoniously withdrew invite to writer Nayantara Sahgal to inaugurate the event. This triggered a controversy and nationwide criticism. Several people, including a local Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader, objected to her presence at the conference, citing that she is an English writer.
Vaishali Yede, 28, of Rajur village in the Yavatmal district, who will inaugurate the event, is a distressed farm widow, living with two sons. “I was aged 19 when I got married into a family of 14 people. We all worked on the farm, but my husband killed himself over debts in 2011. My son was five and I was pregnant when we lost him,” she says.
First Published: Jan 10, 2019 23:28 IST