• The 2019-2020 PEN-Gauri Lankesh Award for Democratic Idealism

    Press Note

    January 29, 2020

    Image courtesy Kashmir Life

    Mr. Yusuf Jameel, the Srinagar-based reporter who pioneered fearless journalism in Jammu and Kashmir, has been chosen for the 2019-2020 PEN Gauri Lankesh Award for Democratic Idealism. The members of the award jury included Chandan Gowda, Vinutha Mallya and Asiya Zahoor.

    PEN South India and PEN Delhi have instituted the annual PEN-Gauri Lankesh Award for Democratic Idealism to cherish the idealism and commitment of Gauri Lankesh, the assassinated journalist and activist.  This award is offered to an individual or organisation whose work reflects an abiding passion and courage towards advancing democratic culture in India.Offered annually on the birth anniversary of Gauri Lankesh, it carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs. One Lakh.


    “The 2019-2020 PEN-Gauri Lankesh Award for Democratic Idealism is awarded to Yusuf Jameel. His work in journalism shows an exemplary commitment to professional integrity and the ideals of democracy.  Starting his career as a journalist with Aftab, the Srinagar-based Urdu daily, in the early 1980s, he has worked for various newspapers and media agencies since, including The Telegraph, BBC, Reuters, Time, Voice of America and The Asian Age.  In the context of rising insurgency in the Kashmir valley in the late eighties and the nineties and the very complex conflict scenario that has evolved since, his work as a reporter pioneered fearless and candid journalism in Jammu and Kashmir.  As a print and radio journalist working in both Urdu and English languages for over three and a half decades, his work shows a deep level of social engagement and concern and has contributed immensely to the traditions of fair and courageous reportage.”

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