SRINAGAR: Joining the league of writers returning their Sahitya Akademi awards in the last few days, popular Kashmiri writer and poet Ghulam nabi Khayal said the minorities in our countries feel “threatened and unsafe”. “They feel their future is bleak”, he added.
Khayal, who won the prestigious honour for his book Gashik Minaar(Luminaries) in 1975, said he would soon return the cash prize and copper plaque to the Akademi.
A noted Kashmiri poet, Khayal had won the glorious honor for his book Gashik Minar (Luminaries) in 1975. The writer is particularly miffed at the silence on part of the Akademi and failure of the government to protect the rights of minorities in our country. He said that if he remains a mute spectator to the injustice, he will never be able to forgive himself. “I cannot witness such worst situation as a mute spectator. So, I have decided to return the Akademi award in protest against the growing hatred against minorities in India,” he said.
He ridiculed the religious and regional polarization which is taking place in India and particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. J&K is brawling with protests from the minorities almost every second day and the authorities are turning a deaf ear to their demands.
He also criticised Prime Minster Narendra Modi for his “delayed reaction” over the Dadri lynching incident.
“The BJP is now curbing the fundamental rights of the people by forcing people to change their food habits,” Khayal said.
The lynching of a UP Muslim by radical elements over alleged beef stored by the family has further added fuel to the fire.