Javed Akhtar becomes only Indian to bag prestigious Richard Dawkins Award

Lyricist and dialogue writer Javed Akhtar became first Indian to be given the honour for critical thinking, holding religious dogma up to scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values.

Javed Akhtar (Photo Courtesy: social media)
Javed Akhtar (Photo Courtesy: social media)
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Rana Siddiqui Zaman

Lyricist, thinker, screenplay and dialogue writer Javed Akhtar has won the prestigious Richard Dawkins Award 2020 for critical thinking, holding religious dogma upto scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values. He is the only Indian ever. Previous recipients include Bill Maher and Christopher Hitchens.

"It is a huge honour,"  said a gleeful Shabana Azmi, his wife, sharing this news with this scribe.

The recipient will be a distinguished individual from the worlds of science, scholarship, education, or entertainment, who publicly proclaims the values of secularism and rationalism, upholding scientific truth wherever it may lead"  this is the citation Azmi shared.


On receiving this news, Javed Akhtar said, "I am deeply honoured. I have been a great admirer of Richard Dawkins ever since I read his first book The Selfish Gene. I received an email from him informing me that I had been unanimously selected for the award by the board of Centre for Inquiry USA in which The Richard Dawkins Foundation is housed."

He further added, "Richard Dawkins is a fierce advocate of empirical science over superstition. I have read all his books and they have strengthened my own views on the need to expose religious dogma as an enemy of critical thinking and rationality. "

Akhtar as is clear has been severely criticising any notion of religion that stops them from progressing towards a rational.thinking. Not only that he has openly criticised the current government in his several poetic creations like "Tu Likh", "Sahab ka Farman" of late to countless views across the globe.


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