Celebrated Urdu author, humorist and satirist Padma Shri award winner Mujtaba Hussain on Tuesday said that he would return his award as he was pained by the state of democracy in India.
It was in 2007 that the 87-year-old author was awarded the Padma Shri.
“The unrest in the country, the atmosphere of fear which is being created, and the flame of hatred which is being fanned is truly disturbing. The democracy which we worked for with so much pain and effort, and the way in which it is being destroyed, is condemnable. In these circumstances, I do not wish to keep any government award in my possession,” Mr Hussain said.
Touching upon the National Register of Citizenship and the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, Mr Hussain said that he is an octogenarian and is worried about the altered nature of the country. “I am in my 87th year. I am more worried about the future of this country. I am worried about the nature of this country which I leave for my children, and the next generation,” he said.
Mr Hussain is the brother of Mahbub Hussain Jigar, who co-founded Siasat Daily with Abid Ali Khan. He is best know for his books America Ghaans Kaat Raha Hai, a take on US foreign policy, and Japan Chalo, and many others.
The celebrated author had a dedicated column Tanz-o-Mizaah (Satire and Humour) in The Siasat Daily. Mr Hussain is a respected figure within the Urdu speaking diaspora across the globe. His works are also read in Japan and other countries.