No film involving writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar will be allowed to be screened in the country till he apologises to functionaries of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for comparing it to the Taliban, Maharashtra MLA and BJP spokesperson Ram Kadam said today.
The remarks came a day after the poet-lyricist, during an interaction with NDTV, drew a parallel between the Taliban and "those who want a Hindu Rashtra". The RSS, ideological parent of the BJP, has long held that India is a Hindu 'rashtra' or state.
"This statement by Javed Akhtar is not just shameful, but painful and humiliating for crores of functionaries of the Sangh and the Vishva Hindu Parishad and crores of people across the world who follow their ideology," Mr Kadam said in a video message that he also shared on Twitter.
#संघ तथा #विश्वहिंदूपरिषद के करोडों कार्यकर्ताओ की, जब तक हाथ जोड़कर #जावेदअख्तर माफी नही मांगते. तब तक उनकी तथा उनके परिवार की कोई भी #फिल्म इस #माभारती के भूमि पर नहीं चलेगी. pic.twitter.com/ahWgVQWuvH— Ram Kadam - राम कदम (@ramkadam) September 4, 2021
He added that functionaries of these organisations serve the poorest of the poor and the poet-lyricist has insulted them.
"Before making these remarks, he should have thought that people with the same ideology are running the government now, are fulfilling raj dharma. If the ideology was Talibani, would he have been able to make these remarks? This shows how hollow his statements are," the BJP spokesperson said.
"We will not allow any of his films to run in this land of Ma Bharti till he apologises with folded hands to the functionaries of the Sangh who have dedicated their lives to the nation," Mr Kadam, who is MLA from Ghatkopar West, said.
Mr Akhtar, also a former MP, is the father of filmmaker Zoya Akhtar and actor and filmmaker Farhan Akhtar, and the husband of renowned actor Shabana Azmi.
Speaking to NDTV yesterday, he said the right-wing across the world want the same things. "Just like the Taliban want an Islamic State, there are those who want a Hindu Rashtra. These people are of the same mindset -- be it Muslim, Christian, Jews or Hindus," he said.
"Of course, the Taliban is barbaric, and their actions are reprehensible, but those supporting the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal are all the same," he said.
Responding to a question on remarks by some Muslim leaders welcoming the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Mr Akhtar said "these people are a miniscule of the Muslim population of our nation".
"Most of the Muslims I spoke to were shocked and appalled that such statements were made by some. Today, most young Muslims in India want a good job and a good education for their children in good schools. But on the other hand, there are some who want to believe in this kind of regressive thinking -- where men and women are segregated, where regressive mindset is promoted. But like I said, these people are a handful, so let them say what they want, they will not achieve it," he said.
Mr Akhtar added, "I have total faith in the basic sensibility of an average Indian. The majority of this nation is extremely decent and tolerant. That must be respected. India will never become a Talibani country."