BJP leader demands apology from Javed Akhtar over Taliban comment
Veteran writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar recently compared the Taliban to functionaries of organizations like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) in a media interaction. This has irked Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, including Maharashtra MLA Ram Kadam, who has now threatened to prevent the screening of his and his family members' movies in India until he apologizes for his statement.
Taliban is barbaric; RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal supporters are same
Speaking to NDTV, the writer 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." "Of course, the Taliban is barbaric, and their actions are reprehensible, but those supporting the RSS, VHP, and Bajrang Dal are all the same," Akhtar added.
Akhtar must 'apologize with folded hands': Kadam
BJP spokesperson Kadam termed Akhtar's statement "painful and humiliating" for the functionaries and "crores of people across the world who follow" the ideology of RSS and VHP. "We'll not allow any of his films to run in this land of Ma Bharti till he apologizes with folded hands to the functionaries of the Sangh who have dedicated their lives to the nation," he noted.
Kadam called Akhtar's remarks 'hollow'
Kadam added, "Before making these remarks, he [Akhtar] should have thought that people with the same ideology are running the government now...fulfilling raj dharma. If the ideology was Talibani, would he have been able to make these remarks? This shows how hollow his statements are."
Kadam also posted a video along with the warning
#संघ तथा #विश्वहिंदूपरिषद के करोडों कार्यकर्ताओ की, जब तक हाथ जोड़कर #जावेदअख्तर माफी नही मांगते. तब तक उनकी तथा उनके परिवार की कोई भी #फिल्म इस #माभारती के भूमि पर नहीं चलेगी. pic.twitter.com/ahWgVQWuvH— Ram Kadam - राम कदम (@ramkadam) September 4, 2021
Films associated with Akhtar's family members to also suffer
The Ghatkopar West MLA threatened the screening ban is applicable for Akhtar and his family. This means any venture associated with his wife/actress Shabana Azmi and his children—filmmaker Zoya Akhtar and actor/filmmaker Farhan Akhtar—is likely to face resistance in the future. It was only yesterday that Farhan dropped posters for his latest venture—Rishi Kapoor's last film, Sharmaji Namkeen, marking the late actor's birth anniversary.
The Akhtars have often found themselves at loggerheads with right-wing
Reportedly, BJP's youth wing held a protest march to Akhtar's Juhu residence on Saturday, demanding that the scriptwriter apologizes for his comments. Akhtar and his family have often themselves at loggerheads with right-wing party leaders. In 2020, the lyricist had lashed out at BJP MP Subramanian Swamy for sharing old news about "kicking out 60 imams." Azmi has lambasted BJP many times, too.