Protests in India and Hong Kong against government legislation: How writers have expressed their dissent
While countrywide protests wrack India over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and writer Shireen Dalvi and Yakoob Yawar returned their state level Sahitya Akademi awards, a Hong Kong poet empathetic of the student protest caused distress within the family, one of who also happens to be a high profile government official.
Dalvi was given an award in 2011 by the state of Maharashtra. From the media, she tweeted, “I am saddened and shocked by the news that the BJP led government has passed CAB ( Citizen amendment Bill), an attack on our constitution and secularism and in protest against this inhuman law I am announcing that I would return my State Sahitya Akademi Award…”
Yawar, 67, returned the Uttar Pradesh award state for translation saying in a report, “I have been scared watching the parliamentary debate. As an old man what else can I do about this Bill that is creating such unrest? I decided to return this award and do my duty.”
Their actions were triggered by the resignation of an IPS ( Indian Police Service) officer, Abdur Rahman, who said,“I condemn this Bill (CAB). As a civil disobedience, I have decided not to continue in the service thus not to attend office from tomorrow. I am quitting the service finally.”
While protests rip different parts of India, some artists and poets in Hong Kong are creating works of art and literature to express solidarity with the protestors in their country. Recently, BBC interviewed Him Lo, an artist and curator from Hong Kong. Lo said: “As an artist, I have different weapons if I want to voice out my messages, such as painting, poetry, or other kinds of media…Some people might think these weapons are weak, but it is the message that we need to deliver to people. We have other options before resorting to violence.”
A video of poet Teresa Kuo reciting her poem, ‘2047’, went viral. Read more about her poem and the reactions to it by clicking here.
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