In October, Hindustan Times carried a 10-day series about a community in transition, about Muslims who are proud of being Muslims, and do not hesitate to go back to their religion to get ahead in life, make money, get educated and change their lot.
It was about Muslims who were breaking the mould. The series was called “The New Muslim”. Said a reader “This is real journalism.”
Another wrote: “It’s a great initiative because there is a silent moderate majority within our community, who are not able to raise our heads because of fundamental minority.”
Some were critical too: “Oh, you are putting the community in a zoo again.”
“Watch where you are going,” warned another reader, a Muslim. The intention of the series was to look at a community without the stereotypes that it are sometimes associated with.
Did it work?
If the response was anything to go by, it certainly did. We were overwhelmed by responses that poured in from all over the world commending the series.
And now, a jury of distinguished peers agrees too. The New Muslim series has won the ‘2007 KCK Award,’ an international journalism award. They received nearly 200 entries from newspapers around the world.
(The Hindustan Times also received merit awards for two other stories in the same competition: “India Besieged” and “War Torn.”)