Lawyer accuses Javed Akhtar of defamation for his comments over RSS

The complainant, Santosh Dubey, alleged that Akhtar, with a view to gain political score, unnecessarily dragged the name of the RSS and defamed the organization.
Javed Akhtar
Javed Akhtar
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A Mumbai-based lawyer on Friday, October 22, filed a criminal complaint against lyricist Javed Akhtar before a magistrate court over his alleged remark against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) made during a television interview. The complaint against Akhtar was filed before the metropolitan magistrate court in Mulund for the offence under section 499 (defamation), 500 (punishment for defamation).

Akhtar, 76, in a recent interview had drawn parallels between the Taliban and Hindu extremists. The complainant, Santosh Dubey, who claims to be an RSS supporter, alleged that Akhtar, with a view to gain political score, unnecessarily dragged the name of the RSS and defamed the organisation in a "calculated and well-planned move".

The statement made by the accused during an interview was "well-planned" to defame the RSS as well as to discourage and misguide the people who have joined the RSS or would like to join the organisation, the complaint said.

"The accused is very much aware that there is no similarity in thoughts, ideology, philosophy, mindsets and way of functioning of RSS and Taliban in any manner, but with the ill-intention to malign, damage, injure and harm the prestige, good-will, image of RSS, the accused has deliberately and intentionally made false defamatory imputation and imaginary statements," it added.

The court will record the statement of the complainant in the next hearing to be held on November 16.

Dubey had earlier lodged a complaint against Akhtar in this connection, based on which the Mulund police had registered an FIR under IPC section 500 against the veteran lyricist.

Last month, the lawyer had sent a legal notice to Akhtar and sought an apology from him for making such statements.

In an interview to NDTV in September 2021, Javed Akhtar had said, “The right wing across the world wants the same things. Just like the Taliban want an Islamic State, there are people who want a Hindu Rashtra. These people are of the same mindset— be it Muslim, Christian, Jews and Hindus.” He added that there is a “dress rehearsal” in India for “becoming a full-fledged Taliban.” He also said that the right-wing and Taliban may have “different goals” but that their value system is the same.  

“Look at the right-wing objectively. They are the same people. Their names and faces are different but their value system is the same vis a vis gender, minorities, they have no love lost for minorities, like Taliban. They want women to be home and on the margin like the Taliban — so what is the difference between the two? They think no law is superior to their religious base, which is what the Taliban thinks. So where are you any different from them? Their goal may be different — there is a constitution between them and their goal, the Indian constitution but given a chance, they will cross that too,” he had said. 

“Those who support organisations like RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal need to do some introspection. Of course, the Taliban is reprehensible, there is no doubt about that, but these people that they are supporting, how are they any different from them?” he had questioned.

(With PTI inputs)

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