Noted Urdu writer Mujtaba Hussain, has said he will return his Padma Shri award to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Hyderabad-based Hussain said given the "current atmosphere" in the country, he did not want to keep the award anymore.
Hussain, a celebrated author, humorist and satirist, had received the Padma Shri award in 2007. A native of Hyderabad, he is a contemporary of revolutionary poet Makhdoom Mohiuddin, who was one of the Communist Party of India’s tallest leaders during the Telangana Armed Struggle (when peasants supported by communists rose in rebellion against feudal landlords).
“I have decided to return the award, because I don’t want to keep it in my house. I will write a letter (to the Centre) stating the same soon," he said. Hussain was awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution to Urdu literature.
The 86-year-old is the author of several books and his writings are part of Urdu text books in different states. His writings have been translated to other languages as well. Prior to this, two other Urdu writers Shirin Dalvi and Yaqoob Yawar had also announced their decision to return their respective awards they received from Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh state governments.
Hyderabad has been witnessing protests against the CAA after the law came into effect earlier this month. Students across campuses have been protesting, demanding a roll back. More specifically, students from the Maulana Azad National Urdu University have been protesting since 15 December, and have boycotted their semester exams, which have been postponed.