Mumbai: After writer Nayantara Sahgal and poet Ashok Vajpeyi, Urdu novelist Rahman Abbas will return the Maharashtra State Urdu Sahitya Academy Award as a mark of protest against the Dadri lynching incident.
“I was to return the award today. However, officials of the Academy informed me that the office is closed today. I will be returning the award on Monday,” Abbas said.
“After the Dadri lynching, the Urdu writing community has been quite unhappy. Therefore, I decided to return the award. There are some other Urdu writers who also want to join the protest. It is high time we stood up to the injustice surrounding us,” he said.
Abbas had in 2011 won the award for his third novel ‘Khuda Ke Saaye Mein Aankh Micholi’ (Hide and Seek in the Shadow of God).
Earlier, noted writers Nayantara Sahgal and poet Ashok Vajpeyi had returned their literary honours to protest what they termed as an “assault on right to freedom of both life and expression”.
A 50-year-old man was on September 28 lynched by a mob in Dadri’s Bishada village near Delhi over rumours of eating beef, triggering a nationwide outrage.