Noted Konkani author Mahabaleshwar Sail has been honored with the 2016 Saraswati Samman for his novel ‘Hawthan’. The 74-year-old Sail’s novel Hawthan was published in 2009 and was shortlisted from 22 books written in various languages.
- The selection for the award was made by a jury presided by former chief justice A S Anand.
- Mahabaleshwar Sail received a cash prize of 15 lakh and a citation as a part of the honor.
About Mahabaleshwar Sail
Goa based Mahabaleshwar Sail is a Konkani author who hails from Majoli of Karwar District of Karnataka State.
- In his early life, Sail served Armed forces and participated in the 1965 Indo Pak war and later joined Indian Postal Services. After retirement he settled in Goa.
- The bi-lingual writer has written four Marathi dramas and seven Konkani novels till date. He has also written five short stories and a novel in Marathi.
- ‘Hawthan’ is a well-researched work of fiction presenting the cultural map of the traditional potter community of Goa.
- Most of his works have been translated in to English, Marathi and Hindi Languages.
Awards and Recognitions
Sail was conferred with Sahitya Academy award (1993), Dr. T.M.A. Pai Award (1997), Goa Kala Academy (1989 and 1996), Katha Award (2007), Cultural Award of Goa Government (2006) and Literary Award of Goa Government (2007).
- Mahabaleshwar Sail has served as member in Sahitya Academy, Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy and Goa Kala Academy.
- He has also served as the president of All India Konkani Literary Conference in 2005.
About Saraswati Samman
The Saraswati Samman is an annual award for outstanding prose or poetry literary works in any 22 Indian language listed in Schedule VIII of the Constitution of India.
- It is named after an Indian goddess of learning and is considered to be among the highest literary awards in India.
- The Saraswati Samman was instituted in 1991 by the K. K. Birla Foundation. It consists of Rs 15 lakh, a citation and a plaque.
- Candidates are selected by a panel that included scholars and former award winners.
- The award is given every year for an outstanding literary work written in any Indian language by an Indian citizen and must be published during the last 10 years.
- The first edition of the award was given to Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan for his four volume autobiography, Kya Bhooloon Kya Yaad Karoon, Needa Ka Nirman Phir, Basere Se Door and Dashdwar se Sopan Tak.
- Other previous recipients of the Saraswati Samman include former Union minister M Veerappa Moily, S L Bhyrappa, K Aiyappa Panickar, Vijay Tendulkar, Padma Sachdev.