NEW DELHI — Pakistani TV personality Moneeza Hashmi, daughter of subcontinent’s leading Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984), was invited to the 15th Asia Media Summit (10-12 May) hosted by the Indian government’s two departments. But when Moneeza, who was listed as a speaker at the event, reached the designated hotel in New Delhi, she was told her program has been cancelled and there was no booking in her name at the hotel.
According to a report in news18.com which quoted Faiz Foundation Trust, when Moneeza reached the hotel where she was supposed to put up she was told that there was no booking in her name. A shocked Hashmi was later informed by the director of AIBD (Asia Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development) that she wouldn’t be allowed to speak. AIBD Director, Chang Jin allegedly told her “We were just informed that you cannot attend the conference” and apologized to her. The three-day event was hosted by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry and Prasar Bharti. However, they told the news portal that they are not aware of any such incident.
She was supposed to speak on 10th May at the 4 PM session on ‘Should all good stories be commercially successful?’ along with three other speakers. But she was denied participation. Faiz’s daughter returned to Pakistan on 12th May.
Several people are now condemning the humiliation of eminent Pakistani media personality.
Eminent writer and historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted: “In a wonderful tribute to Gandhi after he was murdered, Faiz Ahmad Faiz said the Mahatma’s “body and voice”, had become “tireless symbols of compassionate love and fearless rectitude”. The fear-filled Government of New India has just deported the 72 year old daughter of Faiz.”
In a wonderful tribute to Gandhi after he was murdered, Faiz Ahmad Faiz said the Mahatma’s "body and voice", had become "tireless symbols of compassionate love and fearless rectitude". The fear-filled Government of New India has just deported the 72 year old daughter of Faiz.
— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) May 13, 2018
Entrepreneur and Chancellor of Maualan Azad National Urdu University Zafar Sareshwala tweeted the news report with this comment: “If this report of @CNNnews18 @maryashakil is true! Then it does not do any good to our standing of diplomacy and tolerance of which we are very proud of at the world stage!”
— zafar sareshwala (@zafarsareshwala) May 13, 2018
Eminent journalist Saba Naqvi said: “When he lived #faiz (whom I met as a child) made Pakistan uncomfortable. Now it seems India has become too small to tolerate his legacy….his daughter deported and not allowed to address a function. Shame on us.”
When he lived #faiz (whom I met as a child) made Pakistan uncomfortable. Now it seems india has become too small to tolerate his legacy….his daughter deported and not allowed to address a function. Shame on us.
— Saba Naqvi (@_sabanaqvi) May 13, 2018