Ram Kadam, a Bharatiya Janata Party worker and Maharshatra’s spokesperson, threatened to prevent screenings of films involving Javed Akhtar‘s works, and demanded an apology for drawing a parallel between the Taliban and the Indian right-wing.
“None of Javed Akhtar’s films will be screened in cinemas, until he apologises to the workers of the Vishva Hindu Parishad,” Kadam, who is the BJP MLA from Ghatkopar West in Mumbai, said on social media, on Saturday.
He further tweeted that he will file a complaint with the Ghatkopar Chirag Nagar police station on Sunday.
Akhtar, who is a lyricist and writer in the Hindi film industry spoke to NDTV on Friday, on the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and drew a parallel between the Indian right-wing groups RSS and the terror outfit.
“The right-wing across the world want same things. Just like 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, and added, “Ironically, the right-wing use this to promote themselves with an aim to become the exact same as what they are opposing – that is an interesting observation.”
Akhtar went on to specify the VHP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), and 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.”
In response, Kadam threatened to prevent screenings of Akhtar’s films and demanded an apology for his remarks.
“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,” Kadam said.
Akhtar, wife Shabana Azmi, and colleague Naseeruddin Shah, among others, rejecting Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, signed the statement filed by the Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) in August.
The statement with 128 signatories, condemned the formation of a theocratic state and read, “It is nothing but sheer opportunism and hypocrisy to stand in support of a secular state in a country like India, where Muslims are in a minority, and applaud the imposition of Shariah rule wherever they are in a majority. Such rank double-standard gives legitimacy to the Sangh Parivar’s (RSS) agenda for a Hindu Rashtra.”