Javed Akhtar calls himself ‘equal opportunity atheist who is against all faiths’ after offending both sides

Javed Akhtar has called himself an ‘an equal opportunity atheist who is against all kinds of faiths’ after attracting backlash for his comments on loudspeakers being used during azaan.
In this May 2016 file photo Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar is seen along with his wife Shabana Azmi at the 63rd National Film Awards function in New Delhi.(PTI)
In this May 2016 file photo Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar is seen along with his wife Shabana Azmi at the 63rd National Film Awards function in New Delhi.(PTI)
Updated on Jun 13, 2020 02:57 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By HT Entertainment Desk

Lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar has described himself as an ‘equal opportunity atheist’ after facing backlash from members of multiple faiths. Akhtar had earlier tweeted that loudspeakers shouldn’t be used for azaan.

In a tweet on Saturday, Akhtar wrote, “Recently when I commented that AZAN should be banned on loudspeakers Muslim bigots cursed me that I would go to the worst place in hell.On the other hand Hindu bigots call me a jehadi and an anti national.I am an equal opportunity atheist who is against all kinds of faiths.”

 

Akhtar was referring to a May 11 tweet by him, in which he’d written, “In India for almost 50 yrs Azaan on the loud speak was HARAAM. Then it became HaLAAL n so halaal that there is no end to it but there should be an end to it. Azaan is fine but loud speaker does cause discomfort for others I hope that at least this time they will do it themselves.”

When a Twitter user asked him about his opinions on loudspeakers being used in temples, Akhtar had replied, “Whether it’s a temple or a mosque, if you’re using loudspeakers during a festival, it’s fine. But it shouldn’t be used every day in either temples or mosques. For more than a thousand years Azaan was given without the loudspeaker. Azaan is the integral part of your faith, not this gadget,” he said.

Also read: Shabana Azmi slams ‘pathetic trolls’ doubting Javed Akhtar’s Richard Dawkins award win, calls it a ‘preposterous claim’

The tweet was criticised by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). According to India Today, AIMIM’s spokesperson Asim Waqar said Akhtar’s comments “are coming from the roots of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.”

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Saturday, October 16, 2021