Over 150 eminent citizens extend unequivocal support to Javed Akhtar, Naseeruddin Shah

‘We strongly condemn attempts to intimidate Javed Akhtar and affirm his right to speak his views,” they said in a media statement

Javed Akhtar
Javed Akhtar
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NH Web Desk

Over 150 citizens from all walks of life have condemned the hounding of Javed Akhtar and Naseeruddin Shah and extended unequivocal support to them.

“In an interview to NDTV news channel, Javed Akhtar spoke with clarity and passion. We agree with his statement that irrespective of the religion in whose name they claim to speak, right-wingers -- be they Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christians -- share a common majoritarian world-view. This is particularly evident when it comes to their views on the status of women in the family and in society. The Taliban are but an extreme and violent version of the same common fundamentalist mind-set. It is not for nothing that many in recent years have referred to violent elements from the sangh parivar as the ‘Hindu Taliban’,” they said in a press statement.

“It is not insignificant that around the same time as the venal reactions to the interview by Javed Akhtar, sections of the Muslim community who have raised similar objections to recent comments by actor Naseeruddin Shah. In his video clip which went viral, Shah is specifically addressing the Indian Muslim community where he is warning Muslim compatriots against rigid forms of Islam, advising an espousal of modernity,” they said.

“Shah is only re-iterating the long, vibrant and tolerant tradition of Indian Islam that has been in recent decades afflicted by the Saudi-exported Wahhabi Islam, a trend that large sections of Indian Muslims recognise and also deplore,” they added.

The press statement and details of signatories is as follows:

We, the undersigned, support unequivocally the recent interview given by author and poet, Javed Akhtar to the media in the context of the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan. We strongly condemn attempts to intimidate him and affirm his right to speak his views.

We strongly disagree with those in the sangh parivar, led by a BJP MLA and other elements from the same wider parivar who have objected to the understanding of right wing supremacists, be it of the Muslim or Hindu kind.

In an interview to NDTV news channel, Javed Akhtar spoke with clarity and passion. We agree with his statement that irrespective of the religion in whose name they claim to speak, right-wingers -- be they Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christians -- share a common majoritarian world-view. This is particularly evident when it comes to their views on the status of women in the family and in society. The Taliban are but an extreme and violent version of the same common fundamentalist mind-set. It is not for nothing that many in recent years have referred to violent elements from the sangh parivar as the ‘Hindu Taliban’.

It is not insignificant that around the same time as the venal reactions to the interview by Javed Akhtar, sections of the Muslim community who have raised similar objections to recent comments by actor Naseeruddin Shah. In his video clip which went viral, Shah is specifically addressing the Indian Muslim community where he is warning Muslim compatriots against rigid forms of Islam, advising an espousal of modernity.

Shah is only re-iterating the long, vibrant and tolerant tradition of Indian Islam that has been in recent decades afflicted by the Saudi-exported Wahhabi Islam, a trend that large sections of Indian Muslims recognise and also deplore.

Signatories:

1. Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas PVSM, AVSM, VrC, VSM, ADC

2. Aditi Chowdhury

3. Aftab Khan, Journalist, Nasik

4. A.J. Jawad, Advocate, Chennai

5. Ajit Pandit

6. Amir Rizvi, Designer, Mumbai

7. Anand Patwardhan, Documentary Film Maker, Mumbai

8. Anil Chandra

9. AnjumRajabali, film writer

10. Anubha Rastogi, Lawyer, Mumbai

11. Arshad Alam, Academic/Researcher, Delhi

12. Aruna Gnanadason

13. Anuradha Kapur

14. Apeksha Vora

15. Ashok Maridas

16. Askari Zaidi, Writer

17. Atul Tiwari, Writer

18. Aquila Khan- Filmmaker

19. Aadya Pandey

20. Aawaaz-Niswaan (Organisation)

21. Ashhar Khan- Jaunpur

22. B T Venkatesh, Senior Advocate,

23. Bebaak collective (Organisation)

24. Benson

25. Brinelle D'souza, Academic and Activist

26. Cedric Prakash, Jesuit and Civil Rights Activist

27. Chayanika Shah

28. Chirashree Das Gupta

29. Cyrus Guzder, Philanthropist and Civil Rights Activist

30. Deepika D'Souza

31. Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) (Organisation)

32. Dinesh Abrol, Professor ISID (retd), Chief Scientist CSIR-NISTADS (retd).

33. Dipak Malik, Prof. (retd), Varanasi

34. Dr. AsokanMundon

35. Dr. S Faizi

36. Enakshi Ganguly

37. Farhat

38. Farhan Rahman, Research Scholar, Ranchi

39. Feroze Mithiborwala, National Convener, Bharat Bachao Andolan, Mumbai

40. Forum Against Oppression of Women (Organisation)

41. Gautam Bhattacharya

42. Geeta Kapur, Art Historian and critique

43. Geeta Seshu, Co-editor, Free Speech Collective

44. Ghulam Moyiuddin Faruki, New York

45. Gurumoorthy

46. H. C. Satyarthi

47. Hasina Khan, Feminist

48. Harsh Kapoor, Independent Researcher, Delhi

49. Hartman de Souza, Writer and Teacher

50. Hindal Tyabji

51. Imran Khan, Independent Theatre Artist

52. Indira Chandrasekhar, Publisher and Activist

53. Irfan Engineer, Director, Centre for the Study of Society & Secularism, Mumbai

54. Irfan Khan

55. J.S. Bandukwala, Professor of Physics (retd), Vadodara

56. Javed Anand, Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy, Mumbai

57. John Dayal, Author and Activist

58. Jyoti Punwani, Freelance Journalist Mumbai

59. K. M. Shrimali, Professor of History (retd), University of Delhi

60. Kasim Sait, Businessman, Philanthropist, Chennai

61. Kavitha Lankesh, Filmmaker

62. Keval Arora

63. Kirti Singh, Lawyer and WomensRightsActivist

64. Kumar Samatahala

65. Lalita Ramdas, Peace Activist

66. Lyndon Saldanha

67. M.K.Raina

68. Madangopal Singh

69. Madhu Prasad, Professor (retd), Delhi University

70. Madhusree Dutta

71. Mansoor Sardar, Bhiwandi

72. Masooma Ranalvi, Co-Founder, India Lead, WeSpeakOut, Delhi

73. (Prof.)Mazhar Mehdi (JNU, New Delhi)

74. Meera Dewan, Filmmaker

75. Mohammed Imran, Lucknow

76. (Prof) Mohammad Sajjad Aligarh Muslim University (AMU)

77. (Prof.) Mohan Rao

78. Mukhtar Khan, Mumbai

79. Mukta Srivastava

80. Mumtaz Shaikh

81. Muniza Khan, Gandhian Institute, Academic & Activist, Varanasi

82. NS Shankar

83. Najid Hussain, USA

84. Nandan Maluste, entrepreneur and civil rights activist

85. Nagaragere Ramesh

86. Nasir Tyabji, formerly with Jamia Millia Islamia

87. P A Azeez

88. P.K.Shukla

89. Pamela Philipose, Senior Journalist

90. Parcham Collective

91. Parthiv Shah, photographer

92. Peggy Devaraj

93. Persis Ginwalla

94. Pradeep

95. Pradeep E, Bangalore

96. Premachandra U

97. Priyanka

98. Prabhat Patnaik, Prof Emeritus, JNU

99. Qamarjahan, Lucknow(Prof.retd)

100. Dr. Qaiser Shamim, Delhi

101. Qurban Ali, Senior Journalist, Delhi

102. QutbKidwai, Social Activist, Mumbai

103. (Dr) Ram Puniyani, Author, Social Activist

104. R.B.Sreekumar, former DGP, Gujarat

105. R Manohar

106. Rajinder Arora

107. Ram Rahman, Photographer

108. Ramachandran

109. Ramesh Dixit. social activist and academician. Lucknow

110. Razia Patel, Academic-Social Activist, Pune

111. Romar Correa

112. Rosey

113. Rudrashish Chakraborty

114. S.V. Raghurama Rao, Professor

115. Sabah Khan, Parcham, Mumbai

116. Dr. SabihaAlam, Academic, Delhi

117. SachinChavan

118. Salim Yusuf, Lawyer-teacher, Bhiwandi

119. Sandhya Panaskar, Activist

120. Sayed Riyaz Raheem, Poet, Mumbai

121. Saurobijay Sarkar

122. Shabnam Hashmi, Social Activist, New Delhi

123. ShakeelAzmi, Poet

124. ShaliniDhawan, Designer, Mumbai

125. Shamsul Islam, Associate Professor University of Delhi (retd) and street theatre

practitioner

126. Shama Angelina Chatterjee

127. ShamimAbbasi- Ghazipur

128. (Dr) ShahnawazAlam, Asst Professor

129. Sheela Sridhar

130. Shweta Damle

131. SimantiniDhuru, Documentary Film Maker, Mumbai

132. Sohail Hashmi, Writer, Film Maker, Heritage Activist, Delhi

133. SubhanBande

134. Suhel B

135. Sujata Gothoskar

136. Sumit Chowdhury

137. Syed

138. Syed Sarwar Hussain, Writer, Patna

139. Syed Tehsin Ahmed, Political Activist, Delhi

140. (Dr) TeestaSetalvad, Author, Journalist, Activist

141. Tushar Gandhi, Peace, Rights and Liberalism Influencer

142. Vasanthi Raman, (Prof., retd), New Delhi

143. Vicky

144. Vinita Balekundri, Maharashtra Hawker Federation

145. VivanSundaram, Artist and Activist

146. Wan Manan

147. YaqoobRahi (Poet, Mumbai)

148. Zafar Agha, National Herald, Delhi

149. Zafar Bakht, Allahabad

150. Zaheer Ali, Chairman, Centre for Promotion of Democracy and Secularism,

Mumbai

151. ZakirSardarNaufil Arya, Poet, Agra

152. Zoya Hasan, Professor Emerita, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)

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    Published: 07 Sep 2021, 10:27 PM