Caste

Shabnam Hashmi Returns National Minorities Award in Protest of Mob Lynchings

Hashmi went to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) to hand back the award conferred to her in 2008, citing “total inaction, apathy and tacit support to the violent gangs by the government” as the reason.

Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, human rights campaigner and wife of slained communist playwright Safdar Hashmi, shows her National Minority Award during a news conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. Hashmi returned the Award conferred upon her in protest against the incidents of mob lynching of innocent minority community people. Credit: PTI

Shabnam Hashmi shows her National Minority Award during a news conference in New Delhi on Tuesday. Hashmi returned the award in protest against the incidents of mob lynching of innocent minority community people. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: Social activist Shabnam Hashmi, during a news conference on Tuesday, returned the National Minority Rights Award she had received nine years ago in protest of the recent lynchings in the country.

Hashmi, who was conferred the award in 2008, went to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) to return the award. She handed it over to  commission director T.M.  Skaria, as NCM chairperson Gayorul Hasan Rizvi wasn’t available.

Addressing a press conference, Hashmi said, “I had been feeling very strongly about the way things have been happening and made up my mind to return the award as I feel the NCM and the present government have failed in providing even a semblance of dignity and security to the minority communities.” She said that she had been trying to seek an appointment with the NCM chairman for the last two days but could not get one, reported the Times of India.

In a letter to the commission, she wrote, “I return the National Minority Rights Award, which has lost all its credibility, in protest against the consistent attacks and killings of the members of the minority communities and total inaction, apathy and tacit support to the violent gangs by the government”.

“While a man was lynched to death by a mob near Delhi on a rumour that he had cow meat in his house, the whole state machinery was busy in getting the meat tested, instead of nabbing the culprits. A 16 year old child is lynched and killed on a train for being Muslim or a techie killed for having a beard, two young boys killed and hanged from trees in Jharkhand,” Hashmi went on to state in her letter.

She said the commission should have taken suo moto action against each and every incident, reported The Quint.

The National Minority Rights Award is given to an individual or an organisation every year on Minorities Rights Day on December 18 for outstanding contribution towards the promotion and protection the rights of minorities over a period of time.

Earlier this month, Hashmi had stepped down as the trustee of ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy), an NGO founded by her.

(With inputs from PTI)