BJP & Co want to send Javed Akhtar to Afghanistan, ban his films

The lyricist had recently likened the Taliban and its supporters to ‘those who want a Hindu Rashtra’ in India.

Richard Dawkins award, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, secularism
The right-wingers want Javed Akhtar to say sorry.

The BJP and right-wing outfits are up in arms against lyricist Javed Akhtar, after he recently likened the Taliban and its supporters to those supporting the RSS and its ideology in India.

“No film of Javed Akhtar will be screened in India until he apologises with folded hands,” party MLA Ram Kadam declared on Saturday, while the Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha protested outside Akhtar’s residence in Mumbai on Sunday.

Many others from the party reacted angrily on Twitter. Some like former Maharashtra energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule wanted to send Akhtar to Afghanistan, while North East Mumbai MP Manoj Kotak tweeted: Fictional script of comparing a terror org Taliban with a soc org RSS is a flop… Mr script writer, it is not 70s, it is 2021 where New India calls a spade a spade.”

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Talking about the Taliban, which is set to form the government in Afghanistan, Akhtar told NDTV in an interview, “Of course, the Taliban is barbaric, and their actions are reprehensible, but those supporting the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal are all the same.”

Pointing out that Taliban’s supporters are a “miniscule of the Muslim population of our nation”, he added that the “right-wing across the world want the same things. Just like Taliban want an Islamic State, there are those who want a Hindu Rashtra. These people are of the same mindset – be it Muslim, Christian, Jews or Hindus,” and that “this is kind of a dress-rehearsal for becoming like full-fledged Taliban”.

“The Taliban may be more empowered with weapons, but the view, outlook, and ideology are mirroring each other. They must not have reached their goals yet but I want to know that what is the difference between their goals and the goals of Taliban,” Akhtar said.

BJP’s Kadam asked in a video put up on Twitter: “If Taliban’s ideology existed here, could he (Akhtar) have made such statements? The answer to this question shows how hollow his remarks are.”

Plenty of other right-wing sympathisers slammed the lyricist, with an ABVP activist advocate even filing a complaint against Akhtar with the Mumbai Police for “intentionally outraging the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal.”

Also read: Rewriting history to ‘cleanse’ India’s list of national icons

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