Javed Akhtar says he is as opposed to Muslim fundamentalists as he is to Hindu extremism

Noted film personality Javed Akhtar says he is as opposed to Muslim fundamentalists as he is to Hindu extremism, noting that he has even received death threats from Muslims because of his outspokenness. Defending his recent interview in which he drew parallels between the Taliban and Hindu extremists, he said Hindus are the most decent and tolerant people in the world but while the Taliban have a free hand in Afghanistan, India”s secularism is protected by its Constitution and courts.

Akhtar expressed the views in a statement to PTI, days after remarking on a TV channel that while the Taliban were “barbaric”, those in India supporting Hindu right-wing organisations were “all the same”. “India can never become like Afghanistan because Indians by nature, are not extremists; it is in their DNA to be moderate, to keep to the middle of the road,” he said in the emailed statement.

Sunita Viswanath: Why I feel the need to bring my Hinduism to the streets

Sunita Viswanath – I refuse to cede Hinduism to those who want to make India a Hindu rashtra

Public Appeal by Hindus for Human Rights, USA

“Yes, in this interview I expressed my reservations against organizations affiliated to the Sangh Parivar. I am opposed to any school of thought that divides people on the basis of religion, caste and creed and I stand by all those who are against any such discrimination,” he added. The noted screenwriter and lyricist said he finds many commonalities between the mindsets of the Taliban and the Hindu right-wing. “My critics are also outraged that I find a lot of commonalities between the mindsets of Taliban and the Hindu right-wing. As a matter of fact, there is a lot of commonality. The Taliban is forming an Islamic government based on religion, the Hindu right-wing wants a Hindu Rashtra,” Akhtar said.

“The Taliban wants to curb women rights and put them on the margin, the Hindu right-wing has also made it clear that they don’t like the freedom of women and girls; right from UP, Gujarat to Karnataka young men and women have been beaten mercilessly for sitting together in a restaurant or a garden or any public place. Like the Muslim fanatics, even the Hindu right-wing does not accept the right of women to choose their spouse, he said. “Recently a very important right-wing leader said that women are not capable of being left on their own or being independent. Like the Taliban the Hindu right-wing also claims the superiority of faith and ‘astha’ over any man-made law or court,” Akhtar wrote.

“The Taliban has no love lost for any minority; similarly, what kind of thoughts and feelings the Hindu right-wing nurtures for the minority is evident from their speeches and slogans and whenever they get an opportunity, by their actions,” he said. The only difference between the Taliban and these extremist groups is that the Taliban today have unchallenged power in Afghanistan with no one to question them while in India there is a huge resistance against the Indian version of this Talibani ideology which is totally in conflict with the Constitution of India, he said.

“Our constitution does not discriminate on the basis of religion, community, caste or gender. We have institutions like the judiciary and media too. The key point of departure between the two is the Taliban has achieved its goal in Afghanistan. The Hindu right-wing is doing its best to get us there. Fortunately, this is India and there are the Indian people who are providing a stiff resistance,” he said.

Speaking to NDTV on September 3 about the rising hate crimes against Muslims in India, Akhtar had warned that such incidents were “kind of a dress rehearsal for becoming like full-fledged Taliban”. Akhtar said he had no idea that his comments would generate such sharp reactions. “On one hand, there are some people who have expressed their outrage and anger in the strongest language possible, on the other hand, there are people from every nook and corner of the country who have given me messages of solidarity and expressed their total agreement with my point of view,” he said in the statement.

“My detractors have said that while I am criticizing the Hindu right-wing I have never stood against fanatics among the Muslim fold. They have accused me of not saying anything about triple talaq, of not speaking on purdah or any other regressive practice within the Muslim community. I am not surprised at the fact that they are totally unaware of my activities over the years,” he said.

“Over the past two decades, I have been given police protection twice because of the threats to my life from fanatical Muslims: first, because not only had I vociferously opposed triple talaq when the issue was not on the national radar, but I had, along with an organisation named Muslims for Secular Democracy (MSD), toured several cities across India like Hyderabad, Allahabad, Kanpur and Aligarh and from a variety of public platforms spoken out against this retrograde practice,” he said.


Joint Statement of Religious Leaders On “Supreme Court order on Section 377”

RSS backs Supreme Court order on gay sex // Vikram Seth slams Supreme Court order on Section 377

Fahad Hashmi: Homophobia & Islamophobia – The Jamaat e Islami Hind & the SC’s Decision on Section 377

A mother and a judge speaks out on section 377

Lakshmi Chaudhry – SC verdict on 377: Why Indians, gay and straight, must all despair

Swati Chaturvedi: It Was BJP Who Made It Mamata vs Modi. Too Far

Peter Ronald deSouza: The Intrinsic Limits of Hindutva as an Ideology of the Indian State

Former Civil Servants Write to the PM: ‘Take Effective Action Now’ / The BJP Can Be Defeated but the RSS Project Remains

Suhas Palshikar: Bhoomi pujan of the new republic // Pratap Bhanu Mehta: Political colonisation of Hinduism

Anand K. Sahay: The idea behind capturing power in any kind of way: fair or foul

Bharat Bhushan – RSS chief Golwalkar threatened to kill Gandhi – 1947 CID report

Bharat Bhushan: It suits the RSS to allow BJP to encourage defections from other parties

Modi says Congress committed ‘sin’ of partition // The Non-politics of the RSS

Sakshi Maharaj reveals the BJP’s long standing tie to Nathuram Godse

Chhattisgarh govt says staff can join RSS, service rules don’t apply (2015)

NIVEDITA MENON: If Hindutva is dismantled, whom will it harm?

Nivedita Menon: Toolkits of democracy and a paranoid Hindu Rashtra

Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta: Converting Hindus to Hindutva – Interview with D.R. Goyal (1929-2013) writer and historian

AJOY ASHIRWAD MAHAPRASHASTA – ICHR Blocks Manuscript on Freedom Struggle Because It Makes the Sangh Look Bad, Alleges Historian

MANINI CHATTERJEE – Manufacturing an icon: The Deendayal Upadhyaya blitzkrieg

Delhi Police Archive on RSS activity in October-December 1947

CPI’s Dhanwantri report: Bleeding Punjab Warns

What is to be Undone

Suhas Palshikar – Disenfranchising The ‘Other’ // Ajaz Ashraf interviews Ashis Nandy on the future of India

Suhas Palshikar: Bhoomi pujan of the new republic // Pratap Bhanu Mehta: Political colonisation of Hinduism

The Supreme Court, Gandhi and the RSS

The Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi: Inquiry Commission Report (1969)

The Abolition of truth

The emperor’s masks: ‘apolitical’ RSS calls the shots in Modi sarkar

A whiff of evil

एक बात हमेशा ज़हन में सवाल खड़े करती है A question that stays with me… / Ravish Kumar’s Speech at Berkeley (2019)

Ramachandra Guha: Gandhi said RSS was ‘communal with a totalitarian outlook’ – and that’s still true

Ramachandra Guha: Supreme Court must reflect on its calling as defined by the Constitution – and the direction it is taking

Mukul Kesavan: Against forgetting

Pratap Bhanu Mehta: In post-mortem of secularism, we are hand wringing over religion, missing the real crisis // Ashutosh Bhardwaj – Don’t blame only English elite. Indian secularism failed in Hindi heartland first

Suhas Palshikar: Bhoomi pujan of the new republic // Pratap Bhanu Mehta: Political colonisation of Hinduism

Ajmer blast case: Two including a former RSS worker get life imprisonment

Julio Ribeiro – Burying Karkare: I cannot let these forces go unchallenged

Terrifying implications of the SC’s Staines Judgement

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar Is Fighting With Historian Ramachandra Guha On Nehru’s Cabinet

Vyapam whistleblower Anand Rai questions why the RSS has deserted him

The emperor’s masks: ‘apolitical’ RSS calls the shots in Modi sarkar

The law of killing – a brief history of Indian fascism

The Instigator: How MS Golwalkar’s virulent ideology underpins Modi’s India. By HARTOSH SINGH BAL

Patriotic hooligans on the rampage: Shiv Sena, MNS workers thrash North Indian migrants in Kolhapur // VHP vandalizes art gallery in Ahmedabad

Some information for Israelis (and the rest of us)

A  subaltern fascism? – by Kannan Srinivasan

Madhu Limaye’s observations on the RSS (1979)

Socrates: If the whole is ailing the part cannot be well / Ajit Prakash Shah: Darkness at noon, felled by the judiciary

मुझे पूरी उम्मीद है कि आप अपनी बारी आने से पहले बोलेंगेडॉ.आनंद तेलतुंबड़े


Govt wants to cage women who speak against it, say Narwal & Kalita as they and Asif Tanha walk free / Delhi HC criticises ‘wanton, frivolous use of UAPA by the State’ / P.B. Mehta: Has the blackbox of UAPA finally been opened?

Father Stan Swamy: I’d rather suffer, possibly die if things go on as it is

Bhima Koregaon: Dalit Assertion Is Only Getting Stronger A Year After The Violence // Bhim Army Chief Detained Ahead Of Bhima Koregaon Anniversary

Pinjra Tod activist Natasha Narwal’s father dies of Covid day before her bail hearing // That Monday will not come, Judge Sahib

WANTED: Immediate Justice in the Bhima-Koregaon Conspiracy. By Cedric Prakash

Colin Gonsalves: Refusal of bail to Sudha Bharadwaj is based on inadmissible evidence

Pratap Bhanu Mehta: The loneliness of Varavara Rao, Anand Teltumbde, Sudha Bharadwaj tells a disquieting tale

Pratap Bhanu Mehta – The biggest casualty in the Alok Verma affair has been the SC’s authority 

RSS and Modi brazenly intimidating the Supreme Court

Prem Shankar Jha: The Shadow of Haren Pandya’s Case Lies Long Over Justice Arun Mishra

Nikhila Henry – Ex CJI Gogoi’s RS Nomination Calls All His Judgments Into Question, Says Legal Expert

Ajaz Ashraf – A police officer’s account of being harassed for stopping a riot in Rajasthan

Bharat Bhushan: No one critical of the government seems to be innocent any longer / Delhi Police arrests 22-year-old environmental activist, calls her key to foreign hand

Christophe Jaffrelot: On ‘love jihad’, BJP picks up baton from vigilante groups. Police, judicial apparatus have aided this move

Samjhauta Express blast case verdict: ‘Who will answer for death of my five children?’

Lucknow: families give consent but cops stop interfaith wedding // UP villagers allege the police forced the so-called ‘love jehad’ arrest

Ramachandra Guha: Supreme Court must reflect on its calling as defined by the Constitution – and the direction it is taking

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)