I, Shirin Dalvi, an Underground Citizen of India

Published: February 04, 2015 14:46 IST
 Share
EMAIL
PRINT
COMMENTS

(Shirin Dalvi, 46, was the editor of Urdu daily Avadhnama, based in Thane's Mumbra.)

I, Shirin Dalvi, begin with an apology for having printed the title cover of Charlie Hebdo. It was a mistake and I had no intention to hurt the feelings of my community. Like any other Muslim, I deeply respect Prophet Mohammed - sallallahu alahi wa sallam - Peace be upon Him.

That said, since January 17, I am being harassed and hounded even after publishing an apology in my paper Avadhnama and other national papers. There are four cases slapped against me. I have not been able to go back home since then and my children have stopped going to college. I am an underground citizen of India.

I am feeling insecure and unsafe. I have lost my job, my reputation has been tarnished and I have nowhere to go. I am a single mother with two children, and they are my greatest worry. What happens to their future? Even after apologising, I am being threatened that "an apology is not enough."

Allegations levelled against me that I printed the cover deliberately even after being stopped are baseless and untrue. There is a mountain of lies which is being used against me because of personal differences.

So how did I make the mistake? There was a statement of the Pope following the Paris attacks where he had said that "Those who mock religion might face dangerous consequences." As an illustration, I wanted to use a Charlie Hebdo cover. But since I didn't understand what was written in French, I did not realize I was making a mistake. That's exactly how inadvertently this happened.

The newspaper has shut down. I and many others have lost our jobs. I apologize to all of them for their hardship. But can I now appeal to those who are still upset: please forgive, forget and move ahead.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

NDTV Beeps - your daily newsletter

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................