Watch | ‘Hindu culture taught us democratic attitude’, says Javed Akhtar
Expressing his concern over the rising intolerance in society, Akhtar said, “There are some people who have always been intolerant. Hindus are not like that…”
Veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar on Thursday praised the Hindu community for being tolerant and generous. Akhtar said that people of the Hindu community are large-hearted and that democracy existed in the country because of Hindu culture.
"There are some people who have always been intolerant. Hindus are not like that. Their speciality is that they are generous and large-hearted. Don't finish that, else you will become like others...This is Hindu culture, this is civilisation. It has taught us democratic attitudes. That's why there is democracy in this country… We have learnt from Hindus' way of living. Will you leave that?” Akhtar said at the Deepotsav programme organised by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray, the video of which was shared by ANI.
Javed Akhtar further said that he felt proud to have been born in the land of Lord Ram. "There are many deities, but when we talk about the ideal husband and ideal wife, Ram and Sita come to mind... 'Jai Siya Ram' is the finest example of love and unity..." he commented.
Speaking at the event, the lyricist also voiced his concern over “the decline of the freedom of expression in the country.” Speaking of the Bollywood film ‘Sholay’ Akhtar said, "If the film were made today, there would be a huge controversy over the dialogues of Hema Malini and Dharmendra in the temple."
Noted screenwriter Salim Khan and actor-filmmaker Riteish Deshmukh were seated beside Akhtar when he made the remarks.
Earlier in 2021, Javed Akhtar compared the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) with the Taliban. “As a matter of fact, there are a lot of similarities. While the Taliban is forming an Islamic government based on religion, the Hindu right wing wants a Hindu Rashtra. The Taliban wants to curb women’s 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,” Javed Akhtar said.
Later in an opinion piece in Shiv Sena's mouthpiece ‘Saamna’, Akhtar retracted his comments. He said that the “Hindus were the most decent and tolerant majority in the world.”