Sahitya Akademi award-winning Ramanunni speaks up against Junaid’s murderers

Malayali author KP Ramanunni donating his prize money to Saira Begum, Junaid’s mother

Malayali author KP Ramanunni gave the award money he received from Sahitya Akademi to lynched teenager Junaid Khan’s mother and said I am a true Hindu and am ashamed of the fascist violence

Another writer has raised his voice in protest against increasing communal attacks in the country. Malayalam writer and Sahitya Akademi Award winner KP Ramanunni on Monday donated his prize money to the mother of Junaid Khan, a teenager stabbed to death on a Mathura-bound train from New Delhi in June 2017. Raman Unni had won the award for his book “God’s Own Book’. He has added his voice to those of intellectuals who voiced their protests after Mohammed Akhlaq was lynched in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh in 2015, on rumours that he had kept beef in his fridge.

Ramanunni has always written against communal- and caste-based violence. And he registered his protest after receiving the award in an entirely novel way. No literateur in the history of Sahitya Akademi has announced the donation of the entire sum of his award money immediately after receiving it. He had come fully prepared for his protest. Ramanunni had already come for the award ceremony with a cheque of ₹1 lakh in the name of Junaid’s mother Saira Begum, who was sitting in the audience with her sons.

I want to say that I am a Hindu. A true Hindu. A true Hindu repents. Whatever violence is taking place in the name of my religion, we do not agree with it. So, we must say that this is wrong. If we do not, then we all are guilty.

Ramanunni, in conversation with National Herald, said “I want to see this award money go immediately into Saira Begum’s account. This is a burden on me, that I have not been able to do anything concrete to get justice for Junaid. I want to say that I am a Hindu. A true Hindu. A true Hindu repents. Whatever violence is taking place in the name of my religion, we do not agree with it. So, we must say that this is wrong. If we do not, then we all are guilty. As a Hindu and as a writer, I want to say clearly that the chaos that these forces are creating in the entire country, killing innocent people, I firmly stand against those forces with my pen and my writings.

Junaid’s mother, Saira Begum said, “Ramanunni’s help is not only financial, it is also encouraging in the fight for getting justice for Junaid. With this, we feel that a large number of people are supporting us. The help we have received from the Muslim League of Kerala and the writers of Kerala, make us feel that people of this country have not forgotten the murder of Junaid.”

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