At a time when mob-lynching is claiming the lives of the innocent, social activist Shabnam Hashmi returned the National Minority Rights Award on Tuesday. She returned her award in protest against the ongoing trend of mob-lynching which has recently resulted in the death of a Muslim teenager in Delhi.
Hashmi has conferred the award in 2008, said the National Commission for Minorities, which confers the award, has “lost all its credibility” and hit out at the chairperson of the body over his “condemnable statements”.
“I return the National Minority Rights Award, which has lost all its credibility, in protest against the consistent attacks and killings of the members of the minority communities and total inaction, apathy and tacit support to the violent gangs by the government,” Hashmi wrote in a letter to the commission.
This is, however, not the first time that credible awards are being returned in protest of social evils. In the case of mob-lynching, a number of authors, filmmakers and scientists had returned national awards in the wake of the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri over rumours of beef consumption.
The award carried no cash component before 2011 and used to come with a citation. However, in 2011 the Minority Affairs Ministry approved a proposal to attach a cash component of Rs 2 lakh (individuals) and Rs 5 lakh (organisations).