Renowned lyricist Javed Akhtar, speaking at the Deepotsav program organized by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray, expressed admiration for the Hindu community, praising their tolerance and generosity. Akhtar highlighted the large-hearted nature of the Hindu community, emphasizing that their culture has played a significant role in fostering democracy in the country.
During the event, Akhtar stated, “There are some people who have always been intolerant. Hindus are not like that. Their specialty is that they are generous and large-hearted. Don’t finish that, else you will become like others…This is Hindu culture, this is civilization. It has taught us democratic attitudes. That’s why there is democracy in this country… We have learned from Hindus’ way of living. Will you leave that?”
The lyricist, who expressed pride in being born in the land of Lord Ram, further commented on the values represented by the deity. “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 remarked.
While acknowledging the cultural richness, Akhtar also voiced concern over what he perceived as a decline in freedom of expression in the country. He referenced the iconic Bollywood film ‘Sholay,’ suggesting that if the movie were made today, the dialogues of Hema Malini and Dharmendra in the temple scene would likely spark a significant controversy.
Javed Akhtar’s remarks at the Deepotsav event reflect a celebration of cultural diversity and an acknowledgment of the values he sees embodied in the Hindu community, while also expressing his apprehensions about the current state of freedom of expression in India.