New Delhi: Hyderabad based Urdu satirist of repute Mujtaba Hussain has announced that he will return his Padma Shri award in protest against the enactment of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. A local journalist associated with The Hindu has confirmed the news to The Wire.
“The democracy for which I fought is under attack now and the government is doing that. That’s why I don’t want to associate the government with me,” Hussain told the reporter.
Hussain was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour in the country, for his contributions to Urdu literature in 2007.
The 83-year-old is author of several dozen books and his writings are part of the government’s Urdu syllabus in several states. He is one of the most popular Urdu writers in the Indian sub-continent and his writings have been translated into Hindi, English and other languages as well.
Just last week, two Urdu writers — Shirin Dalvi and Yaqoob Yawar — had announced that they will return their respective awards.
Calling the bill ‘inhuman’, and its passage ‘an attack on the Constitution of India and secularism’, Dalvi had told The Wire that, “I am announcing that I will return the State Sahitya Academy Award given to me for my literary contributions in the year 2011.”
Dalvi was conferred a special award by the Maharashtra Rajya Urdu Sahitya Akademi in recognition of her literary contribution.
Similarly, Urdu author and translator Yawar had also announced that he will return the Uttar Pradesh State Urdu Academy Award for translation, which was given to him last year.
“I am 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 had told The Wire.
Professor Yawar is former head of department of Urdu of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and author and translator of nearly 50 books. Last year he was given the Life Time Achievement Award for Translation, which included the prize of Rs 1 lakh.