Moved by Zahid's murder, Dr Marghoob returns Sahitya Akademi award

Moved by Zahid's murder, Dr Marghoob returns Sahitya Akademi award

“I decided to return the award following the brutal murder of Zahid and after watching how thousands of people laid him to rest with tearful eyes,” he said.

Eminent Kashmiri literary personality, Dr Marghoob Banihali, Monday decided to return his Sahitya Akademi Award in protest against the cold-blooded murder of Zahid Rasool Bhat of south Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) district by goons in Shiv Nagar area of Udhampur on October 9.

 

Dr Marghoob, who received the award in late ‘70s, told Greater Kashmir that the murder of Zahid and oppression on minorities in India “prompted me to return the award.”

 

 “I decided to return the award following the brutal murder of Zahid and after watching how thousands of people laid him to rest with tearful eyes,” he said.

 

18-year-old Zahid, who was set ablaze by a fanatic mob in Udhampur on October 9, succumbed to injuries at Delhi’s Safderjung Hospital on Sunday. His killing triggered a fresh wave of anger in Kashmir against the BJP-led central government and state’s PDP-BJP alliance.

 

Dr Marghoob, who has served as Head of Kashmir University’s Kashmiri Department for 11 years, accused the government of India and that of J&K of “making Kashmiris bleed profusely.” 

 

“The minorities in general and Kashmiris in particular are facing heinous attacks arranged by certain organizations which are patronized by different agencies and the government,” he said.

 

Dr Marghoob had received the award for his Kashmiri poetry collection "PARTAVISTAAN" in 1979.  The composition also bagged the State’s Cultural Academy award in 1977.

 

Before joining as HOD of KU’s Kashmiri department, he served in the varsity’s Persian Studies, Iqbal Institute and Central Asian Studies departments.

 

He has also the distinction of being first PhD holder in Persian from Kashmir University.

 

Dr. Marghoob’s decision comes at a time when several writers and poets have decided to return their awards in protest against ‘rising intolerance and oppression on minorities’ in India.

 

Nearly 30 writers have returned their Akademi awards so far, while over a dozen have returned other awards they received from the organization.

 

Earlier, Kashmiri writer, Ghulam Nabi Khayal returned the award, saying the minorities in the country today feel “unsafe and threatened”.

 

Apart from, Dr. Margoob and Khayal, several Kashmiri writers and poets including M. Zaman Azurda, Shad Ramzan, Farooq Nazki, Bashar Bashir, Muhammad Yosouf Taing, Shafi Shouq have received the Akademi awards.