Mangaluru: Growing Violence and Intolerance – Author-journalist Shahanaz to Return Award in Protest

Mangaluru: Shahanaz M, an award-winning writer, author, poet, novelist and counsellor based in the city, has announced her decision to return the much-coveted Kittur Rani Chennamma award bestowed on her by state’s department of women and child welfare in 2002.


She joins a large number of authors, writers, activists and public figures who have already returned the awards won by them, as a token of protest against an atmosphere of intolerance, violence and communal disharmony prevailing in the country now.

Speaking to this writer, Shahanaz, who is also the editor of Anupama, a Kannada monthly for women, said, “India is the largest secular nation in the world. In spite of its being based on a well-formulated Constitution, it is witnessing an alarming rise in communal intolerance.”

She has taken a serious view of the rising religious bigotry, the killing of author M M Kalburgi, the assault on Sudheendra Kulkarni, the Dadri lynching episode following the bogey of beef-eating and the stripping of a Dalit woman in a northern part of India. She is also saddened by the failure of the governments in arresting these dangerous trends.

She added that besides the memento, the cash purse of Rs 10,000 would also be given back to the department. She also demanded that the killers of Prof Kalburgi be brought to book as early as possible. The fact that this award had been the most cherished among those won by her so far had added to the sadness. What effect it would have in the current situation was immaterial according to her, but she felt conscience-bound to return it to the government to register her protest.

Shahanaz has won many awards in the past. She has bagged the Attimabbe award on two occasions, besides Kalyana Ratna, Kittur Rani Chennamma, Vishwa Kannada Kanmani, Rukmini Bai, Jeejabai, Kavi Shadakshari and Sumasourabha awards. She is also the recipient of the DK district Rajyotsava award.

She credits her success to the constant support and encouragement received from her family, most of all to her husband S M Muthalib of Taj Cycles Company here.

In spite of being totally occupied with the work involved as a homemaker, journalist and writer, she also heads the Sahana Counselling Centre, which provides women in distress and depression with solace and succour.

One of the many feathers in her cap:

Mangalore: ‘Anupama’ Editor Shahanaz M Bags Sir Visvesvaraya Award


  1. “She has taken a serious view of the rising religious bigotry” – Report on author-journalist who has returned an award.

    All freedom-loving, freethinking, progressive people will be deeply troubled by religious bigotry. We certainly don’t want to live in a society bullied or hijacked by religious groups. Unfortunately, many religious bigots are hiding behind ‘secular’ banner to selectively attack sanaathana dharma these days. Similar to antisemitic views at global level, anti-sanaathana views in Indian subcontinent are very real and powerful. Many won’t openly admit it but their views and selective outrage provide plenty of evidence on anti-sanathana views!

    Does anyone know if these folks returning their awards had expressed same level of outrage over ban on drawing any pictures of a religious figure? Did they protest when a kerala lecturer’s hands were chopped off by religious thugs? Just curious.

    • “I get very surprised to observe many people, who have not taken the troubles of educating themselves on any issues, just jumping to conclusions by merely observing some scenes on the television” – Nelson Lewis

      Dear Nelson,
      I agree with you. To be fair, I’m not surprised by folks like joker Praveena or clueless AS Mathews. Even the media and progressive groups are falling for propaganda and believing in lies and rumors. – Mr. Rampa

      One scratches the other’s back – like Mr. Shaikh said. Both react to news and react. One fellow EVEN goes to the extent of posting stuff from youtube. Is that not some form of ‘media’? Or is that the Gospel truth? The same fellow also does a ‘superior analysis’ of the Palestinians. Does not address WHY & how the Palestine problem was created. He does not even bother to address how the problem in the greater Levant was created.

      The other fellow.. well….. sigh! Collects some stamps and signatures. Lives a retired life. Writes a word or two about Hitler, Eichmann, Goering, Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Treblinka, Pakistan, the Taleban…. and our African Legal Expert from Angola gives him a ‘shertipicate’!


      • Can someone tell me why Praveena is responding to unrelated posts? I know that he is still in anganawaadi. Is it that difficult for him to follow the discussion here? This is why he is the joker and joke!! LOL

        • Can someone tell me why Praveena is responding to unrelated posts? – RampaNNA

          JUST by posting under a different post (which is actually a TOPIC/article – but then, that has totally missed your gnat-like attention span – & honestly, I DON’T and can’t blame you for that though!), does it dilute anything?

          And I also trust that EVEN a Rampa like you knows that the new-format isn’t too conducive for rebuttals and then… some more.. and then MORE until Dil says NO MORE! Or, am I presuming too much about you? Hmmmm.. I think that I need a rethink on that!

          Some more jokes like this, and I will let you know. Ok? Until then, please send us some more about ‘Sabka saath sabka vikas’ and ‘MACK in India’.

      • You and your great political ideology and the battalion of leaders are going to be displayed to the whole world as “clueless and brain fogged”.

  2. Unfortunately, many religious bigots are hiding behind ‘secular’ banner to selectively attack sanaathana dharma these days.-Atheist Mr.Original Pai

    Sir,Is Sanathan Dharma is part of Atheism you worship? Jews used anti semitic as a weapon to silence the critics when religious atrocities committed against Muslims and Christians what they termed as ‘promised land’ humanity.

    Now Modi’s India run by RSS is also following the steps of Guruji’s who glorified Hitler purging the country of the semitic races(Jews).

    Critics have accused Golwalkar of being a fascist, pointing to his extreme right-wing views expressed in the 1939 book, We, Our Nationhood Defined. In it, Golwalkar writes: “To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the semitic Races – the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well nigh impossible it is for Races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.”[14] “Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindustan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting on to take on these despoilers. The Race Spirit has been awakening.”[15] – M. S. Golwalkar

    It is never in Indian history so many intellectuals returning the awards at once.How did you forget the outrage of Saffron fanatics of RSS sister organistation protested by buring and damaging late MF Hussain painting? A Kerala college lecturer whose hand was chopped off allegedly by radicals over his comments on the Prophet Mohammed(Peace and blessing upon him) in a question paper,the state government handover the case to NIA and the accused are already sentenced.

    Whereas in ‘Godhra Model’ a life sentenced criminal Babu Bajrangi who felt like Maharana Pratap after slitting pregnant women roaming free on payroll.PM Modi who once hinted for death sentence to criminals now remain silent.

    Jai Hind

  3. Namaskara.

    Hope Sharia Shaikh responds to below news & the vendetta meted out to Taslima too:


    The number of writers who have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards is now almost 30. The government has called their protest a manufactured protest. Now noted Bangladeshi writer and exile Taslima Nasrin has also entered the fray. In an interview to TOI’s Sagarika Ghose she asks why writers were silent when she was being persecuted.

    What is your response to the fact that so many writers in India have returned their Sahitya Akademi awards?

    Writers have decided to protest against injustices by returning their awards. There is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes somebody gets an idea, others like it.

    Do you agree with the government that this is a manufactured protest with a political agenda?

    I do not think so. Writers are politically and socially conscious people.

    Government, not Sahitya Akademi, responsible for law and order

    Do you feel the writers were silent when you were targeted?

    Most writers were silent when my book was banned in West Bengal, when 5 fatwas were issued against me in India, when I was thrown out of West Bengal, when I was kept under house arrest in Delhi for months and was forced to leave India, when my mega serial for TV was banned. I have been struggling alone for the right to live here and for my freedom of expression. Not only they were silent, famous writers like Sunil Ganguly and Shankha Ghosh appealed to Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the then CM of West Bengal, to ban my book.

    Are writers guilty of double standards when it comes to dissent?

    Yes, I agree. Many writers are guilty of double standards when it comes to dissent.

  4. “Not only they were silent, famous writers like Sunil Ganguly and Shankha Ghosh appealed to Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the then CM of West Bengal, to ban my book” – Shankaranna quoting Taslima.

    Dear Shankara-anna,
    The Left and progressives have failed in confronting one specific ideology all over the world. They don’t mind attacking sanaathana dharma, Christianity or Judaism. However, they turn into one of the most pathetic apologists when it comes to one specific ideology. Honestly, in my opinion, they are afraid of being harmed or even killed. They have seen what happens to those who try to question this ideology. We all remember Charlie Habdo. So, the Left and progressives have been bullied into supporting the same ideology that is totally opposite of what they believe and fight for. This explains why our secular writers and media are running for cover when someone mentions ‘peaceful’ groups!! Sad but true!! smiles…

  5. Modi’s toadies are unable to make a moral distinction between banning a book and killing an author. The difference between the Congress and the BJP is that Congress has banned books under political pressure but the RSS/BJP and its affiliates have taunted authors with death threats and held mock funerals for writers. Congress has not always lived up to liberal values but the RSS/BJP is openly hostile to liberal values.

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