Show-cause notice sent to Javed Akhtar over RSS Taliban comment
A show-cause notice was issued to veteran Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar by a Thane court recently over his purported defamatory comment where he had compared the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to the Taliban. As per reports, the complainant, an RSS member, alleged that Akhtar's remarks were "well-planned" to defame RSS and "discourage, disparage, and misguide" those who have joined the organization.
Akhtar has time till November 12 to respond
Reportedly, an RSS activist named Vivek Champanerkar filed the complaint in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate and Joint Civil Judge (Senior Division), seeking Re. 1 as compensation from the poet. A permanent injunction to not drag the name of RSS or make such statements in the future has also been sought. Now, Akhtar has till November 12 to respond.
Remarks were 'well-planned move to set narrative against RSS': Complainant
The suit says Champanerkar would have appreciated Akhtar's criticism if it was done in a "parliamentary manner." But the defamatory remarks were, according to him, a "mere political score in a well-planned move to set narrative against RSS," reported Bar and Bench.
Akhtar had opined Taliban and RSS supporters have 'same mindset'
But what exactly were these remarks? Recently, Akhtar told a news channel the right-wing all over the world have an uncanny similarity. "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." He likened RSS, VHP, and Bajrang Dal supporters to the "barbaric" Taliban.
BJP had demanded apology, threatening screening ban on his films
Naturally, the comments upset certain people. Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Ram Kadam threatened to prevent the screening of the lyricist and his family members' movies in the country until he apologizes for his statement. BJP's youth wing also held a protest march to Akhtar's Juhu residence, following which a police bandobast was placed outside his house. Notably, Shiv Sena also lambasted the remarks.
This is not the sole legal fiasco involving Akhtar
While time will tell how Akhtar responds to the notice, this is not the only legal fiasco he is involved in. His defamation case against actress Kangana Ranaut is still ongoing. Most recently, Ranaut appeared before the court in person and filed a counter-complaint against Akhtar. She also applied to move both the cases to a different court, saying she has "lost faith."
This is why Akhtar had filed defamation case against Ranaut
In case you need a refresher, Akhtar had gone to court against the 34-year-old actress in November last year after she allegedly dragged his name in actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death case and made defamatory statements against him on national television.