Noted Urdu writers to return awards in protest against CAB

NEW DELHI: After IPS officer Abdur Rahman’s resignation, two Urdu writers on Thursday announced that they will return their awards as a mark of protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

Senior Urdu journalist and writer Shirin Dalvi had received the award in 2011 from Maharashtra State Urdu Sahitya Akademi for her journalistic and literary works.

CAB- ‘divisive & discriminatory’

Condemning the Bill in a statement posted online by journalist and activist Mahtab Alam, the 47-year-old Mumbai-based Urdu journalist said:

“I am saddened and shocked with the news the BJP led govt had passed CAB, an attack on our Constitution and secularism and in protest against this inhuman law I am announcing that I would return State Sahitya Academy Award given to me on my Literary Contributions in the year 2011. The CAB (Citizens Amendment Bill) is divisive and discriminatory. I am returning this award to join the voices of my community and to people fighting for secularism and democracy. We all have to stand firm to protect our Constitution and Ganga Jamuna Tahzib,” her statement was posted by journalist and activist Mahtab Alam.

Life of Dalvi has been changed ever since her Mumbai edition of Lucknow-based Urdu newspaper Avadhnama reproduced the blasphemous image by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2015.

Can’t do much

67 year-old writer-translator Yaqoob Yawar also return his Uttar Pradesh State Urdu Akademi Award he received.

Professor Yawar, the former head of the Urdu department at Banaras Hindu University said he would also return the ‘Life Time Achievement Award for Translation‘ along with Rs 1 lakh-cash prize.

Professor Yawar said to have been scared watching the parliamentary debate and was saddened by the passing of the CAB.

“Since I am old and can’t do much in terms of physical protest, I have decided to return the award in protest,” he told The Wire.

A “civil disobedience” move

Earlier on Wednesday, senior IPS officer Abdur Rahman quit from his service, ostensibly in protest against the Citizens (Amendment) Bill.

In his statement posted online, the 1999 batch IPS officer said that as a “civil disobedience” move, he decided to quit the police service and has stopped official duties from Thursday.

The IG rank officer had appealed to all those belonging to the poor and deprived sections to oppose the Bill in a democratic manner as it would harm them the most, and also called upon the tolerant, secular and justice-loving Hindus to oppose the Bill, besides urging activists to challenge it in the court of law.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed in the Lok Sabha on the intervening night of 9-10 December saw 125 MPs voting in its favour and 99 against it.