BJP leader warns Akhtar over RSS-Taliban remarks

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BJP leader warns Akhtar over RSS-Taliban remarks

Monday, 06 September 2021 | TN RAGHUNATHA | Mumbai

BJP leader warns Akhtar over RSS-Taliban remarks

Says won’t allow screening of films till he apologises

Taking serious exception to lyricist Javed Akhtar’s statement drawing a comparison between the Taliban and Right-wing organisations in India like the RSS, the VHP or the Bajrang Dal, three-time Mumbai MLA Ram Kadam on Sunday threatened that “no film of Javed Akthar” would be allowed to be screened till the lyricist-screenplay writer apologises with “folded hands” to the members of the Sangh Parivar for his objectionable remarks. BJP workers also staged a protest against Akhtar in front of his residence in Mumbai.

In a video put out on his official Twitter handle, Kadam said: “(Before comparing the Taliban with the Right wing organisations), Javed Akthar should have at least known that the people linked to the Sangh Parivar are governing the country and are following the Raj Dharam. If the Taliban ideology existed here, would he have made such statements. The answer to this question shows how hollow Akhtar’s remarks are.”

“Till such time he (Akthar) apologises to the members of the Sangh Parivar with folded hands, we won’t allow any of his films to be screened in the land of Ma Bharti,” Kadam said.

Kadam, who is a three-time MLA from Ghatkopar (west) in north-east Mumbai, had also threatened to lodge a complaint with the Chiragnagar police station at Ghatkopar against Akthar. “By lodging the complaint with the police, we will force the Maharashtra Government to register an offence against Akthar,” Kadam said.

It may be recalled that Akhtar had on Friday told NDTV that it was time for supporters of the VHP and the RSS to introspect. “I think people who support organisations like the RSS, VHP or Bajrang Dal need to do some introspection. Of course, Taliban are reprehensible… they are barbarians. But  those supporting the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal are all the same,” he said.

Akhtar -- who is a former MP and the father of filmmaker Zoya Akhtar and actor and filmmaker Farhan Akhtar and the husband of renowned actor Shabana Azmi -had said: “Just like the 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”.

Responding on remarks by some Muslim leaders welcoming the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Mr Akhtar said: “these people are a miniscule of the Muslim population of our nation”.

“Most of the Muslims I spoke to were shocked and appalled that such statements were made by some. Today, most young Muslims in India want a good job and a good education for their children in good schools. But on the other hand, there are some who want to believe in this kind of regressive thinking -- where men and women are segregated, where a regressive mindset is promoted. But like I said, these people are a handful, so let them say what they want, they will not achieve it,”Akthar had said.

“I have total faith in the basic sensibility of an average Indian. The majority of this nation is extremely decent and tolerant. That must be respected. India will never become a Talibani country,” the lyricist-screen writer had said.

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