Mumbai: Renowned poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar commended the Hindu community for their tolerance, attributing the existence of democracy in India to Hindu culture and tradition. Speaking at a Deepotsav program organized by Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in Mumbai, Akhtar expressed concern about rising intolerance, emphasizing the generous and large-hearted nature of Hindus. He urged the community not to lose these qualities, cautioning against adopting intolerance.
Akhtar, known for his progressive and liberal stance among Indian Muslims, acknowledged the influence of Hindu living on their way of life. Seated alongside legendary screenwriter Salim Khan and actor-filmmaker Riteish Deshmukh, Akhtar, despite being an atheist, expressed pride in being born in the land of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita.
Highlighting the cultural significance of Ramayan, Akhtar emphasized its role as the country’s heritage. He raised concerns about the diminishing freedom of expression and cited the potential controversy surrounding the iconic Bollywood film ‘Sholay’ if produced in today’s environment.
Akhtar concluded by praising Hindu culture for instilling democratic attitudes, emphasizing that such inclusivity is essential for the functioning of democracy in the country.