Text of the letter:
Department of Media & Communication,
Maharashtra Institute of Technology-World Peace University, Pune.
We, the Network of Women in Media, India, condemn the cancellation of your media award to our member Safina Nabi for her report ‘The half widows of Kashmir’, in the category of ‘journalism that promoted empathy, understanding and inclusivity in society’ published in Scroll on Jan-26-2022.
We are disappointed with the University for the unceremonious cancellation, insufficient response and lack of commitment to press freedom.
Safina Nabi’s story brought out the longstanding plight of the ‘half widows’ of Kashmir who continue to be denied their property rights decades after the disappearance of their husbands. Her journalistic acumen and credibility have been globally recognised.
Ordinarily, the award would have signalled your institution’s recognition of the critical importance of storytelling in areas of intense conflict. To withdraw from that responsibility is a sad reflection of the journalism education you purport to stand for.
We stand in solidarity with Safina Nabi. We urge the University to adhere to scholarly values, repeal this decision, issue a public apology and award Safina Nabi as she rightly deserves.
Network of Women in Media, India
20 October 2023
Marathi version of letter:Marathi Letter to Maharashtra Institute of Technology
Malayalam version of letter:Malayalam letter to Maharashtra Institute of Technology
NWMI has written to the Maharashtra Institute of Technology-World Peace University, and registered its condemnation of the cancellation of the award to Safina Nabi. The institution’s “official” statement that alluded to Safina Nabi’s “contentious” opinions and views that could potentially cause “controversies” is outrageous and unacceptable. It negates the very responsibility of journalists to raise issues and ask questions, however unpopular.
Statement from Maharashtra Institute of Technology:maharashtra institute response