Darul Uloom Deoband chief extends support to award returnees

Kolkata, Oct 29 (IANS) Extending support to people who have returned awards in protest against the rising intolerance in the country, Darul Uloom Deoband Vice Chancellor Maulana Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani on Thursday said those who have not returned their awards were also equally unhappy with the prevailing situation in the country.

“The awards are being returned primarily for two reasons – the way innocent people are being killed and peace and integrity being infringed upon, and the way human values and rights are being trampled upon in the country,” Nomani told media persons on the sidelines of a programme here.

Refusing to judge whether the return of awards was the right way to protest, he asserted that those who have not return their awards should not be considered to be happy with the Narendra Modi government.

“Whether the return of awards is the right way to protest or not, that is not for me to decide. But I support their stand against the infringement of peace and integrity in the country.

“That some people have not returned their awards, doesn’t mean they are happy with the government. They are as unhappy as those who have returned the awards,” added Nomani.

Asked to comment on the controversy over the police “raid” at Kerala House in Delhi over allegations that it has been serving beef, he said the issue has now become political.

“It is unacceptable, people are indulging in politics over it,” said Nomani

While a host of authors have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards over the rising incidents of intolerance in the country including the murder of scholar M.M. Kalburgi and the lynching of a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh over rumours of eating beef, a section of filmmakers, including Dibakar Banerjee and Anand Patwardhan, too have joined the list by giving up various government awards and honours they have received.

There has been a growing debate over return of awards as mode of protests with many assailing it as “selective activism”.

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