Urdu author Mujtaba Hussain has decided to return his Padma Shri award amid the protests against the Citizenship Act and NRC in the country.
Hussain said he got pained over the current situation in the country with those in power targeting minorities, especially Muslims. "In these circumstances, I don't wish to keep any government award in my possession," he added.
The 84-year-old satirist, often described as Mark Twain of Urdu, said that he is feeling suffocated and his conscience is pricking him. 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.