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Activist Shabnam Hashmi returns award to protest lynchings

 

It comes nearly two years after an episode where a number of authors, filmamkers and scientists had returned national awards in the wake of the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh‘s Dadri over rumours of beef consumption.

shabnam hashmi, National Minority Award, award wapsi, lynching, junaid, National Commission for Minorities, Gayorul Hasan Rizvi Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, human rights campaigner and sister 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. (PTI Photo)

NEW DELHI: Registering her protest against the incidents of “mob lynching of Muslims and rise of Islamophobia in the country”, social activist and human rights campaigner Shabnam Hashmi on Tuesday returned the `National Minority Rights Award’ conferred on her by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) in 2008. She justified her decision saying “the NCM and the present government have failed in providing even a semblance of dignity and security to the minority communities”.

Hashmi went to the NCM on Tuesday afternoon to return the award and the citation.NCM chief Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi was not there as he is out of station. Addressing a presser, Hashmi read from a letter she submitted to the NCM. “I return the `National Minority Rights Award’ given by the NCM, which has lost all its credibility, in protest against consistent attacks and killings of the members of the minority communities,” she said. “The NCM should have played an active part in ensuring the dignity , security and constitutional rights of the minority communities,” she added.

Hashmi goes on to cite incidents of violence against people from the minority community .”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,” she states in her letter.

On her allegations that the NCM had failed to take up the concerns of minorities, its chairman Rizvi said, “I would like to say that the commission is doing its job and such allegations are wrong. Even in the Ballabhgarh case we have sought a report from the authorities.”

Hashmi has also hit out at the chairperson personally over his “condemnable statements”. Rizvi recently courted controversy saying that those who cheered Pakistan’s victory in the Champions Trophy final against India should be “deported” to that country . The NCM chairman reacted, saying, “I see nothing condemnable in my remarks. All I said was that those who have their heart in Pakistan and are celebrating their victory can go there.”

 
The award carried no cash component before 2011 and used to come with a citation. The citation that Hashmi was given lauded her work in Gujarat after the 2002 riots and also in Kashmir. It also mentioned that her work invoked the “wrath of divisive forces”, leading to physical attacks as well.

Hashmi, who was conferred the award in 2008, said the National Commission for Minorities, which confers the award, has “lost all its credibility” and hit out at the chairperson of the body over his “condemnable statements”. NCM chairperson Gayorul Hasan Rizvi recently courted controversy saying those who cheered Pakistan’s victory in the Champions Trophy final against India should be “deported” to that country.

 

It comes nearly two years after an episode where a number of authors, filmamkers and scientists had returned national awards in the wake of the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri over rumours of beef consumption.

Earlier, she visited the commission and handed over the award and the citation to its Director TM Skaria. Hashmi said she tried contacting Rizvi as well but he was not available. The award carried no cash component before 2011 and used to come with a citation. However, in 2011 the Minority Affairs Ministry approved a proposal to attach a cash component of Rs 2 lakh (individuals) and Rs 5 lakh (organisations).

The citation that Hashmi was given lauded her work in Gujarat after the 2002 riots and also in Kashmir. It also mentioned that her work invoked the “wrath of divisive forces”, leading to physical attacks as well.

It is given to an individual or an organisation every year on Minorities Rights Day on December 18 for outstanding contribution to promote and protect the rights of minorities over a period of time. In 2013, there was a controversy when the award was given to Father Ajay Kumar Singh for his campaign against the 2002 Kandhamal riots in Odisha. The state government had objected to the decision

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/shabnam-hashmi-returns-award-to-protest-lynchings/articleshow/59345978.cms

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Comment (1)

  1. K SHESHU BABU

    The return of the award by the human tights campaigner Shabnam Hashmi reflects the pain suffered on the plight of minorities and dalits being lynched by mobs.

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