Urdu writer returns state award to protest against ‘intolerance’ in India
NEW DELHI (92 News) – A day after English novelist and Jawaharlal Nehru’s niece Nayantara Sahgal and eminent Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi returned their Sahitya Academy Awards to protest the growing intolerance, city-based Urdu writer Rahman Abbas too announced to return his Maharashtra State Urdu Sahitya Academy Award.
He said that ever since the Dadri lynching, the Urdu writing community has been quite unhappy. I am going to the Academy office on Saturday to return the award and already there are 2-3 Urdu writers who want to join the protest. It is high time we stood up to the injustice surrounding us.
Abbas took to his Facebook account to announce his move to return the award and in an open letter to urge fellow writers to join him in his protest. “It is high time, as Ashok Vajpeyi said. We cannot remain voiceless. Hence, I request senior Urdu writers, poets and critics to register [their] protest against the murder and killing of creative writers by returning Sahitya Academy awards. This might be a small step but in such volatile times, it is inescapable. It is our duty to raise our voice against fascism, right-wing intolerant forces and lawlessness… promoted as a strategy to divide the country on the lines of religion, sentiments of segments and dogmatic cultural doctrines.”