Maharashtra BJP MLA Ram Kadam has threatened that no film involving Javed Akhtar will be allowed to be screened in the country until he apologises to Sangh functionaries over his comments.

FIle image of Lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar addressing the mediaFile (PTI)
news Controversy Monday, September 06, 2021 - 16:31

Lyricist Javed Akhtar has drawn the ire of the right wing in India after he likened them to the Taliban, stating that there are parallels between the two when it comes to the ideology that they follow and that they have ‘Talibani traits’. Speaking to NDTV’s Srinivasan Jain on Friday, September 3, Akhtar said that the followers of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal must introspect. 

“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,” Javed Akhtar said. 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 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 asked.

Watch his comments here:

Akhtar’s comments on the news channel have stirred up a row, with Maharashtra BJP MLA Ram Kadam threatening that no film involving Akhtar will be allowed to be screened in the country, until he apologises to Sangh functionaries over his comments. Police bandobast was placed outside Akhtar's residence in Mumbai’s Juhu area. The Shiv Sena, which shares power with the NCP and Congress in Maharashtra and is a former ally of the BJP, has also said that Akhtar was "completely wrong" in comparing the RSS with the Taliban.

"How can you say those who favour the concept of a Hindu Rashtra are of Talibani mindset? We don't agree with this," an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' said. The editorial in 'Saamana' added, "Even though Javed Akhtar is a secular man and speaks against fundamentalism, he is completely wrong in comparing the RSS with the Taliban.” The Marathi publication further said the stand of those who propagate a Hindu nation is moderate.

"The partition which led to the creation of Pakistan was based on religion. Those who support a Hindu nation only want the majority of Hindus shouldn't be sidelined. Hindutva is a culture and people of the community demand the right to stop those who attack this culture," it said. The editorial further said comparing Hindutva with the Taliban is an "insult" of the Hindu culture. 

With PTI inputs

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