Thiruvananthapuram | Eminent Malayalam poet Balachandran Chullikkad on Saturday criticised Kerala Sahitya Academy for the "poor" remuneration he had received for taking part in one of its recent programmes and asked everyone not to bother him anymore in the name of any cultural event.
Hitting out at the academy, the apex literary body in the state, the poet said he received just Rs 2,400 as remuneration for delivering a lecture during a session in the International Literature Festival of Kerala and he had to pay the taxi fare from his own pocket.
In a critical social media post, Chullikkad said he met the travel expenses from the money which he had earned by acting in television serials.
He said he reached the venue of the programme, held here on January 30, on time and spoke on the topic given for two hours.
"A remuneration of Rs 2400 was handed over to me. The taxi charge for travelling from Ernakulam to Thrissur was Rs 3500, including the waiting charge," the poet said.
Taking a dig at his critics, Chullikkad said he had to pay the rest of the travel expenses from the money he had earned by acting in TV serials.
He also asked "enlightened Malayalees" not to "disturb" him anymore in the name of any cultural programme.
For mimicry and singing, Malayalees are ready to pay thousands and lakhs of rupees. However, the price fixed for a poet like him through the Academy was Rs 2,400, Chullikkad rued.
After the issue triggered a controversy, the Academy authorities said the poor remuneration given to the eminent poet was a technical mistake and that would be rectified.
Academy Chairman K Sachidanand told media that the issue was sorted out and deserved remuneration would be handed over to the poet.
His account details were sought, and money would be sent soon, he added.