On September 4, a complaint has been filed against self-proclaimed atheist and Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar for comparing the Taliban to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal. In the complaint filed by Advocate Ashutosh J. Dubey at Mankhurd Police Station, the Greater Mumbai Police was requested to take cognizance of the matter and take action against Akhtar.
The complaint was based on the statement Akhtar gave to a website on Friday.
Javed Akhtar compared the Taliban to Hindu organisations
On September 3, while talking on a show on NDTV, Akhtar said that the mentality of those who support RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal is the same as that of the Taliban. He said, “The way the Taliban are trying to build a Muslim nation. In the same way, some people present the concept of Hindu Rashtra to us.” He further added, “These people have the same mentality. The Taliban are violent. Are wild. But the people who support RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal have the same mentality.
While comparing the Taliban to RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal, Akhtar said that the ideologies that Hindu organisations follow are no different from the Taliban. He said, “They have no love for minorities, like Taliban. They want women to be home, like the Taliban. What is the difference between the two? They say no law is superior than their religious faith, that is what the Taliban say. How are you different from them?” and giggled.
Interestingly, the anchor alleged that Muslims are being attacked frequently in India for being Muslims. He specifically picked up a couple of incidents, including the recent one in which a bangle seller was booked for selling bangles to Hindu women while hiding his true identity. The bangle seller was booked for inappropriately touching a minor, a detail that the anchor conveniently skipped. He was also in possession of fake Aadhaar cards.
Akhtar further added, “Their goal is a bit far. You know, there is a constitution between them and their goal. But given have a chance, they will cross that.” He said, “There is no doubt about it they [talibs] are barbarian. But the people who you are supporting [Bajrang Dal, VHP and RSS], how are they different from them?”
BJP demands apology from Akhtar
Maharashtra BJP MLA and spokesperson Ram Kadam issued a statement in which he said that they would not allow any film involving Akhtar to be screened in the country till he apologies for his statement.
He said, “This statement by Javed Akhtar is not just shameful, but painful and humiliating for crores of functionaries of the Sangh and the Vishva Hindu Parishad and crores of people across the world who follow their ideology.”
Atul Bhatkhalkar, MLA, BJP, released a video statement and called Akhtar’s statement an insult to the entire Hindu community. He challenged Akhtar to go to Pakistan or Afghanistan and make such a statement against the Taliban. He also demanded an apology from Akhtar. He added if Akhtar fails to issue an apology, a defamation suit will be filed against him.
The youth wing of BJP also took out a protest march to Akhtar’s residence on Saturday. They said, “We think that Akhtar is not mentally stable. This country has given him everything. RSS helps people at the grassroots, and he has compared them to the Taliban. This is unacceptable. If he doesn’t apologise, our agitation against him will only get more intense.”