Javed Akhtar said that the Taliban are barbaric, their actions are reprehensible, but those supporting the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal are all the same.
The Shiv Sena on Monday came out in defence of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) saying that lyricist Javed AKhtar was “completely wrong” in comparing the organisation with the Taliban. “How can you say those who favour the concept of a Hindu Rashtra are of Talibani mindset? We don’t agree with this,” an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said.
Referring to his remarks, the editorial in ‘Saamana’ said, “Even though Javed Akhtar is a secular man and speaks against fundamentalism, he is completely wrong in comparing the RSS with the Taliban. The Marathi publication further said the stand of those who propagate a Hindu nation is moderate.
“The partition which led to the creation of Pakistan was based on religion. Those who support a Hindu nation only want that the majority Hindus shouldn’t be sidelined. Hindutva is a culture and people of the community demand the right to stop those who attack this culture,” it said.
The Sena edit further said comparing Hindutva with the Taliban is an “insult” of the Hindu culture. “Despite being a Hindu majority country, we have raised the flag of secularism. The proponents of Hindutva only want that Hindus shouldn’t be sidelined,” it said. “You can have differences with the RSS, but to call their philosophy Talibani is completely wrong,” it added.
Akhtar is facing flak for his recent remarks during an interview in which he said that the Taliban are barbaric, their actions are reprehensible, but those supporting the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal are all the same.
On Friday, Akhtar, in an interview with NDTV, Akhtar said that it is time for supporters of the VHP and the RSS to introspect. “I think people who support organisations like the RSS, VHP or Bajrang Dal need to do some introspection. Of course, Taliban are reprehensible… they are barbarians. But the people whom you are supporting, how are they different from them [the Taliban],” he said.
Akhtar said some people in India want segregation in society and that he saw an “uncanny resemblance” between the Taliban and people “who want to be like Taliban”.
Meanwhile, security was beefed up outside Akhtar’a residence in Mumbai on Monday after a Maharashtra BJP MLA demand an apology from him over his remark where he allegedly compared the RSS with the Taliban.
BJP MLA and state party spokesperson Ram Kadam condemned Akhtar’s remark. The legislator from Mumbai said no film involving Akhtar will be allowed to be screened in the country until he apologises to Sangh functionaries over his comments.