Noted Urdu journalist Shireen Dalvi returns award in protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

Noted Urdu journalist Shireen Dalvi shows in her residence at Mumbra the Maharashtra State Urdu Sahitya Akademi special prize, which she decided to return in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Urdu journalist Shireen Dalvi on Thursday returned an award she had received in 2011 to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Ms. Dalvi was awarded the 2011 Special Prize by the Maharashtra State Urdu Sahitya Akademi.

“I am not against citizenship for refugees. It is good and as a country we should have a big heart. But I don’t understand why one community has been excluded. The Bill essentially asks Muslims to prove their citizenship in the country,” Ms. Dalvi told The Hindu.

Ms. Dalvi is currently a freelance journalist, translator and writer. She was the editor of the Mumbai edition of Urdu daily Avadhnama, which had come under attack after it published a controversial cartoon by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2015.

The cartoon received widespread criticism and Ms. Dalvi and Avadhnama were targeted. Nearly five FIRs were filed against her, which the Bombay High Court quashed in March this year. The Mumbai edition has since been shut down.

“I also upload voice recordings of my articles on social platforms as several people said they can understand Urdu but can’t read it,” she said. Ms. Dalvi said Urdu is an Indian language with its roots in the country. “You can divide a country, but you can’t divide a language. This is not a language of just one community, it is the language of the this country,” she said.

She said most people in the country are worried about issues like unemployment and the Bill will only add to their woes. “After this Bill, there will be the proverbial sword hanging over the head of the entire community,” she said.

The Bill, which was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, has received widespread condemnation across the country.

IPS officer Abdur Rahman, posted as the Inspector General of Police at the State Human Rights Commission, on Wednesday resigned from the service in protest.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 7:35:17 PM |

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