Zafar Aafaq | Caravan Daily
After senior Urdu journalist and writer Shirin Dalvi, noted Urdu translator and former Head of Urdu department in Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Prof Yaqoob Yawar Thursday evening announced that he will return the Academy Award he had received from Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy in protest against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed by the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday.
“I am right now typing the letter to the academy and in the the morning I will sign a cheque of Rs 1 Lakh that I was awarded by the UP Urdu academy,” Yawar Yaqoob told Caravan Daily over phone from his home.
He said that this is the least he can do to mark his protest against the controversial CAB. “I am an old man, I cannot come out on street,” He said. The return of the award may not have an impact, he said “my conscience does not allow me to stay silent.”
The bill which has been described as discriminatory allows migrants, except, Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to settle in India as citizens. The bill aims to give citizenship to non-Muslims, who fail to pass the citizenship test according to NRC. Though there have been widespread protests across India against the bill, the parliament went ahead and passed the bill on Wednesday. In Assam, people are out on roads demanding the government to revoke the bill as they fear that it will allow non-Assamese to settle in their state and take over their resources and culture.
Yawar was given a lifetime achievement award by Urdu academy last year for his contribution to the field of translations. He has translated several books and pieces of literature from English to Urdu.
He said he was inspired by past instances when authors have returned their award to register their protests against the government.