HYDERABAD: Well-known Urdu humour writer Mujtaba Hussain has decided to return his Padma Shri award to protest "the atmosphere of fear and hatred created by the Modi government".
Hussain, who was awarded the Padma Shri, the country's fourth highest civilian award in 2007, said that he is pained over the current situation in the country with those in power targeting minorities, especially Muslims.
The 84-year-old satirist, often described as Mark Twain of Urdu, said that he is feeling suffocated and his conscience is pricking him.
Sources close to the writer said that he is concerned over the hatred and fear created among the community through the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC)
Hussain, one of the leading writers in the Indian subcontinent, has written several books. He began his literary career from Urdu daily "Siasat" and was a regular columnist there till a couple of years ago.
While several writers, poets and artists have returned the awards in recent years to register their protest on various issues, Hussain is the first to return a Padma award.