19 Oct 2023

Kashmiri Journalist Safina Nabi Alleges She Was Not Conferred Peace Award Due To Political Pressure

Srinagar: A Kashmiri journalist, Safina Nabi, was slated to receive an award for her work promoting peace. The award was announced by a private educational institution in Pune, Maharashtra. However, the award was not conferred upon her. Nabi has alleged that her name was withdrawn due to "political pressure."

The MIT-World Peace University issued a statement, attributing the situation to a "communication gap" and expressing their intention to potentially invite the award winner Safina to the annual 'Bhartiya Chhatra Sansad' event organized by the university.

The institution had recently revealed the recipients of the 'Journalism for Peace' award, including Tora Agarwala, Safina Nabi, and Sonal Pateria, with the award ceremony scheduled for October 18.

According to Nabi, she received an email from the institution a week prior, in which she consented to accept the award after researching the university and the credentials of the jury members. She was subsequently provided with a single-point contact person for logistical arrangements.

Nabi received phone call a day prior to her planned visit to Pune

However, on October 16, a day before her planned visit to Pune, Nabi received a phone call from an unknown faculty member, who informed her of the award's cancellation, citing political pressure and threats from various political groups.

Nabi reached out to her designated contact person, who initially claimed ignorance about the situation but later confirmed the award's cancellation. Nabi insisted that any further communication regarding the cancellation be in writing. 

Dhiraj Singh, the director of the Department of Media and Communication at the institute, also conveyed the same information but was unwilling to document it via email.

Institute once again contacted Nabi on Oct 17

On October 17, the institute once again contacted Nabi, attempting to placate her by proposing that they would invite her to a larger event as a guest of honor and speaker.

Subsequently, Nabi contacted one of the jury members who expressed shock at the situation and was unaware of the entire episode. In response, the jury members collectively decided to boycott the event in protest of the institution's actions.

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