New Delhi: Noted poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s daughter Moneeza Hashmi barred from participating after being invited to speak at the 15th Asia Media Summit held in New Delhi on May 10.
The summit was interestingly hosted by Information and Broadcasting Ministry, headed by Smriti Irani, jointly with the IIMC, and public sector firm Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd (BECIL).
According to media reports, the 72-year-old Muneeza, also trustee of the Faiz Foundation Trust was listed as a speaker at the 15th Asia Media Summit held in Delhi between May 10 and 12. However, Hashmi’s name was missing from the final list of speakers at the programme, shared by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, The Indian Express reported.
Faiz Foundation Trust was quoted as saying that when Ms Hashmi reached the hotel she was told that there was no booking in her name.
“On arrival at the hotel in New Delhi [on May 9] where the summit was to be held I was told that no room was booked in my name as no Pakistani was invited to the event. No one was willing to register me for the summit despite being a guest speaker,” Ms Hashmi was quoted as saying to Dawn .
“When I took up the matter with the organisers [AIBD] they expressed their helplessness [because of pressure from the Indian government] and apologised for the inconvenience to me,” she added.
The news of Muneeza’s alleged ‘deportation’ to Pakistan has triggered angry reactions with Ms Hashmi’s son Ali Hashmi tagging the PMO and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, tweeting, “this is your Shining India? My 72 year-old mother, daughter of Faiz, denied permission to participate in the conference after being officially invited. Shame.”
— Ali Hashmi (@Ali_Madeeh) May 12, 2018
Also, directors, activists, journalists and commentators took to social media platforms slamming the government.
Director Mahesh Bhatt responded to Hashmi’s tweet and said, “Nikalna Khuld se Aadam ka sunte aaye thay lekin Bohat be- aabru ho kar teray kuche sey hum niklay – Ghalib. Sorry Muneeza ji.This too shall pass. Let’s work together nevertheless to create a conflict-free world which the Mahatma laid down his life for & Faiz lived for.”
Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan wrote: “Shame on the Modi government for deporting Daughter of Faiz Ahmed Faiz from India and stopping her from participating in the Asia media summit in Delhi. Faiz was not only an outstanding Urdu poet but also a staunch opponent of the military rule in Pakistan.”
Lt Gen (Retd) HS Panag tweeted, “Small minds!”
Columnist Rana Safwi wrote, “Muneeza Hashmi: Thank you for your and other friends support. I leave it to your judgement to deal with this matter. We the Faiz Family & Faiz Foundation will continue to work for peace between our two countries. As Faiz would say lambi hai gham ki shaam magar shaam hi to hai”.”
Muneeza Hashmi wrote a short note to a friend stating:
“Thank you for your and other friends support. I leave it to your judgement to deal with this matter. We the Faiz Family and Faiz Foundation will continue to work for peace between our two countries. As Faiz would say لمبی ہے غم کی شام مگر شام ھی تو ہے (lambi hai gham ki shaam magar shaam hi to hai),” thecitizen.in reported.