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06 December 2011

Maulana Ali Jauhar Award: Sanjiv Bhatt, Zafar Agha refuse to share the award with Jagdish Tytler

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Sanjiv Bhatt
New Delhi: Responding to an appeal made by more than hundred human rights’ activist, academician, journalist, filmmaker and students, Sanjiv Bhatt and Zafar Agha has declined to share an award with former minister Jagdish Tytler. Mr. 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 were scheduled to share this award.

“As a young activist, I have seen the anti-Sikh massacre of 1984 of Delhi and behind all this there were somewhere Mr. Tytler. So, how can I share award with somebody, who was involved in such a horrendous crime,” said Zafar Agha, Senior Journalist and one of the recipients of the award while addressing a press conference here in the capital on Monday (December 5, 2011). “My conscience doesn’t allow for this and I have informed the organisers that I can’t receive this award,” he added. He also appealed to his co-awardees to reconsider their decision to accept this award.

Zafar Agha
The refusal of Mr. Agha came when several civil society activists approached him not to accept the award with Tytler. The decision of honouring Tytler irked many and subsequently few activist, journalist and academician made a public appeal on Saturday to decline the award as a matter of protest. According to social activist Shabnam Hashmi, Gujarat IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt will also be not receiving the award in protest. “We have received a message from Sanjiv that reads, ‘Told them that I cannot accept an award or share a platform with Mr. Tytler,’ she informed.

Civil Rights’ Activist, Mahtab Alam, who is one of the petitioner of the appeal said, “Some of also approached the organiser to drop the name of Mr. Tytelar but he refused to budge, saying there is nothing wrong awarding him”.

“It is also regrettable that an award being given by members of a minority (Muslim) community is honouring someone who has played a key role in the victimisation of another religious (Sikh) minority”, Mahtab Alam says, “It will send a wrong message to Sikh brethren. Therefore, we call upon other recipient to boycott this award ceremony”.

Other five persons who will be awarded on this occasion are S Y Quraishi (Chief Election Commissioner of India), Mohd Najeeb Ashraf Chaudhri, Chief Income Tax Commissioner, Maulana Mohd. Haseeb Siddiqui , Chairman, Deoband Nagar Palika Parishad , Nusrat Gwalliori, Urdu poet, Madhya Pradesh and Begum Rehana AR Andre, Social Activist and Educationist, Mumbai (Bi-Amma Award).

Jagdish Tyter
The activists have also urged Justice (Retd.) MSA Siddiqui, chairman, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, who is chief guest of the function not to grace the occasion. “We are hopeful that other listed recipients of award will follow the suit by declining the award,” said Shabnam Hashmi.

The award, according M. Salim, General Secretary of the Academy, are given to individuals every year for their extra-ordinary contribution in their respective fields like, Politics, Journalism, Social Work, etc. Though the Academy was founded in 1974 at Rampur (native town of Mr. M Salim) but this particular award was instituted in 1989. This is 23th Annual Award ceremony. Mr. M. Salim, is a Senior Urdu Journalist and worked for a long time with now defunct Blitz Udru, published from Bombay, now Mumbai.

An appeal to seven individuals to decline the Maulana Mohd Ali Jauhar Award

According to a news item 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.

The seven names are:

1. S Y Quraishi (Chief Election Commissioner of India)

2. Sanjeev Bhat, Indian Police Service officer, Gujarat cadre

3. Zafar Agha, Senior journalist, Delhi

4. Mohd Najeeb Ashraf Chaudhri, Chief Income Tax Commissioner,

5. Maulana Mohd. Haseeb Siddiqui, Chairman, Deoband Nagar Palika Parishad

6. Nusrat Gwalliori, Urdu poet, Madhya Pradesh

7. Begum Rehana AR Andre, Social Activist and Educationist, Mumbai (Bi-Amma Award)

It is sad that the name of Maulana Mohd. Ali Jauhar (1878-1931) is being misused. He was a key figure of the Indian freedom movement, a leader of the Khilafat movement and the sixth Muslim to be President of the Indian National Congress. We are sure this is not how he would have liked his name to be remembered, and that he would not have approved of being used to white-wash the sins of a politician who was part of communal violence and mayhem in the capital of India.

It is also regrettable that an award being given by members of a minority community is honouring someone who has played a key role in the victimisation of another religious minority. Therefore, we the undersigned call upon the seven others to boycott this award ceremony. We make the same appeal to Justice (Retd.) MSA Siddiqui of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, who is reportedly scheduled to chair the award ceremony.


1. Sohail Hashmi, Writer and Film Maker, Delhi

2. Mukul Dube, Writer and Columnist, Delhi

3. Mahtab Alam, Civil Rights’ Activist and Journalist, Delhi

4. Shivam Vij, Writer and Journalist, Delhi

5. Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, ANHAD, Delhi

6. Mazin Khan, Pharos Media, Delhi

7. Subhash Gatade, Writer and Activist, New Socialist Initiative, Delhi

8. Manisha Sethi, Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association

9. M Gauhar Iqbal, Social Activist, Delhi

10. Preeti Sampat, Researcher and Activist, Delhi

11. Kabir Khan, Activist, Mumbai

12. Musab Iqbal, Editor, NewzFirst.com, Bangalore

13. Savad Rahman, Journalist, Kerala

14. Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizen’s Web

15. Nisar Ahmed, Independent Journalist and Activist, Beed, Maharashtra

16. Mohd.Rais Khan,Editor, Qaumi Farman, Mumbai

17. Javed Naqi, Human Rights Activist

18. Shafiq R Khan, Activist and Founder Empower People

19. Waqar Anwar, Member, Advisory Council, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Delhi and Haryana

20. Mahipal Singh, National Secretary, PUCL

21. Anuradha Bhasin, Editor, Kashmir Times

22. Faisal Anurag, Journalist and Activist, Ranchi

23. Akshay Azad, Journalist, Jammu

25. Dr.Mohammad Arif, Chairman, Centre for Harmony and Peace, Varanasi

26. Safwan Amir, University of Delhi

27. Dr. Tanweer Fazal, Jamia Millia Islamia

28. Dr. Aftab Alam, Aligarh Muslim University

29. Prof. Kaleem Koya, Editor, Thejas Daily, Kerala

30. Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Human Rights Activist Mumbai

31. Himadri Sekhar Mistri, Research Scholar, Delhi School of Economics

32. Vijayan MJ, writer and activist, Delhi Forum, New Delhi

33. Wali Laskar, Human Rights Activist, Guwahati

34. Imran Ali, Advocate, Delhi

35. Aashish Gupta, Researcher, Allahabad

36. Bobby Kunhu, Researcher and Writer, Kerala

37. Iqbal Abhimanyu, Jawaharlal Nehru University

38. Mary Abraham, Ambedkar University, Delhi

39. Abu Zafar, Special Correspondent, Afkar-e Milli Magazine

40. Vidya Bhushan Rawat, Writer and Activist, Delhi

41. Aish M Ghrana, Writer

42. Kavita Srivastava, General Secretary, PUCL Rajasthan

43. Syed Afzal Ali Shah, Consultant & Sr Journalist, Lucknow

44. Asad Zaidi, Three Essays Collective

45. Tarun Bharatiya, Film-maker, Shilong

46. Braham Prakash Guddu, Cultural Ativist, JNU

47. Aman Zaidi, Pune

48. Najmul Huda, Researcher, Jamia Millia Islamia

49. Feroze Mithiborwala, Activist, Mumbai

50. Dilip Khan, Journalist and Columnist, Delhi

51. Abdul Rashid Agwan, President Universal Knowledge Trust, New Delhi

52. Ra Ravishankar, Bengaluru

53. A B Masood, Senior Journalist

54. Ameeque jamei Member Secretariat- Akhil Bhartiya Naujawan Sabha Delhi

55. Lateef Mohd. Khan, Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, Hyderabad

56. Kundan Pandey, Journalist, Indore

57. Devashis Prasoon, Journalist, Jaipur

58. Amit Julka, Delhi

59. Faizan Haidar Naqvi, Activist, Delhi

60. Kunal Chattopadhyay, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

61. Dr.Mohan Rao, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

62. Melanie, Activist

63. Minakshi Menon, University of California

64. Afroz Ahmad Shah

65. Dr.Rafat Seema, Editor, NISA Magazine

66. Kaneez Fatima, CLMC, AP

67. Roomy Naqvy, a, Assistant Professor, Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi

68. Amandeep Sandhu, Writer, Delhi

69. Surbhi Badhwar, Assistant Professor, DU

70. Hargopal Singh, Member, Political Committee, UCPI, Solan. H. P.

71. Muhammed P, Journalist, New Delhi

72. Shiv, Student

73. Uma V Chandru, Researcher and Activist, Bangalore

74. Malay Deb.Zambia

75. Waled Aadnan, Presidency University, Kolkata

76. Mohsin Khan, Chennai

77. Romyorup Mitra, Student, DU

78. Azad, Activist

79. Shafaque Alam, student, Jamia Millia Islamia

80. Naveen Gaur, University of Delhi

81. Sangitha Krishnamurthi, Bangalore

82. Tikuli Dogra, Blogger, Creative Writer , New Delhi

83. Aniruddha Dutta, Kolkata

84. S. Anand, Navayana, Delhi

85. Khalid Editor, JamiaJournal.com

86. Hamza Omar, Christ University, Bangalore

87. Fayaz Shaikh, Nanded, Maharashtra

88. Rashid Hussain, Human Development Society, Jaipur

89. Kishor Thope, USA

90. Rajeev, Activist

91. Zafar Lushkary, Social Activist, Okhla

92. Subir Dey, Researcher, JNU, Delhi

93. Iqbal Ansari, Researcher, Jamia Millia Islamia

94. Tameemuddin Humble, GAYA, Bihar

95. Sai, Activist

96. Xavier Dais, Activist-Writer, Goa

97. Dr. Nowshari

98. Gautam Gauri, Social Activist

99. Sadiq Naqvi, Journalist

100. Saravjeet Singh, Student, Jamia Millia Islamia

101. Mirtyunjay Kumar, Delhi University

102. Umair Siddiqui, London

103. Akhlaq Ahmed, APCR, Delhi

104. Sudeep Singh, Punjab

105. Uzair Ahmed Khan, Student, Hyderabad

106. Irfan Khan, Journalist

107. Arjen Singh

108. Dhido Gill, California

109. Manpreet Singh

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