“Zafar Agha was replaced by ex-MP and senior Journalist Santosh Bharatiya. However, M Saleem claimed that Sanjeev Bhatt could not attend the programme due to time constraint and the award may be given to him some other time. While referring to Santosh Bhartiya, being awarded in place of Zafar Agha, M. Saleem said that he has been nominated for the award and nobody has been replaced for the same. The organizer kept totally mum about both Zafar Agha and Jagdish Tytler. ” [Link]
On 3 December, an open letter signed by some of us, and posted here on Kafila, had appealed to seven distinguished individuals to not accept the Maulana Mohd. Ali Johar Award, to be given on 10 December at the India Islamic Cultural Centre. We had reasoned that since the eighth awardee was Jagdish Tytler, they should not share an award and a platform with someone accused of organising mass murder of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984.
Yesterday evening, the general secretary of the Maulana Jauhar Academy, M. Saleem, emailed one of the signatories, Mahtab Alam. The email contained a scanned copy of a letter sent by Jagdish Tytler to M Saleem, which said that Tytler would not attend the award ceremony so as to not embarrass the the other awardees and the organisers, because of this boycott campaign. He, however, stressed on his innocence in the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom, and, notably, did not say that he would not accept the award. He would only not attend the ceremony. M. Saleem has also not announced whether he is withdrawing his decision to give the award to Mr Tytler. For more details on what has transpired in the last few days, please see Mahtab Alam’s article, Beware of the Sarkari Musalmaan.
In the current issue of the English fortnightly, Milli Gazette (1-15 December), it is reported that on 10 December 2011, former union minister Jagdish Tytler will be awarded with seven others in a function at India Islamic Culture Centre, Delhi, by Maulana Mohammad Jauhar Ali Academy. The other names were those of Dr. S Y Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner of India; Sanjeev Bhat, Indian Police Service officer (Gujarat); senior journalist Zafar Agha; Mohd. Najeeb Ashraf Chaudhri, chief income tax commissioner; Maulana Mohd. Haseeb Siddiqui, chairman of the Deoband Nagar Palika Parishad; Nusrat Gwalliori, a Delhi-based Urdu poet, and Begum Rehana AR Andre, a social activist and educationist based in Mumbai.
The award has been named after Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar, a key figure of the Indian freedom movement, a leader of the Khilafat movement and one of the founders of Jamia Millia Islamia, a prestigious central university in Delhi. The award is given on his birth anniversary every year. Though the reasons for honouring these people were not mentioned in the Milli Gazette report, the Academy’s general secretary explained that every year, the academy honours individuals in recognition of their extra-ordinary contribution in the field of journalism, politics, social service and so on. This year they chose Jagdish Tytler for his contribution to politics! Continue reading Beware of the Sarkari Musalmaan: Mahtab Alam→
You can add your name to this appeal in the comments section.
Delhi, 3 December 2011
According to a news report in the Milli Gazette of 1 December 2011, Jagdish Tytler, an accused in the anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984, will be awarded the Maulana Mohd Ali Jauhar Award on 10 December 2011 at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, New Delhi. Seven others will share this award. The undersigned appeal to the other seven awardees to not accept the award as a mark of protest against honouring Mr Tytler, whose contribution in the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom has been recorded by several fact-finding reports, including those by PUCL and PUDR.