Javed Akhtar was recently honoured with the Richard Dawkins award, making him the only Indian to receive the accolade. It has been given to those who “publicly proclaim the values of secularism, rationalism, upholding scientific truth.”
“I wasn’t sure that these people would know what I am saying, what I am writing, what I am speaking from different podiums. But thank you very much. Mr Richard Dawkins’ letter was a very very pleasant surprise,” Akhtar told NDTV in an interview.
Previous recipients of the award include American comedian Bill Maher, British comedian Ricky Gervais, British actor Stephen Fry, activist David Silverman and philosopher Rebecca Goldstein.
Akhtar has been vocal about the sociopolitical events that have taken place in the country in recent times. He has spoken against Citizenship Amendment Act, islamophobia, the attack on frontline health workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Akhtar’s wife was the first to announce the news via social media. She wrote that winning an award from one’s hero is the ultimate validation.
Here is her tweet
— Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana) June 7, 2020
Others to congratulate the lyricist include Vir Sanghvi, Anil Kapoor and Dia Mirza.
Here are their tweets
Javed Akhtar Saab has won the 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 to have won this award! @Javedakhtarjadu Congratulations! You make us proud.
— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) June 7, 2020
Knowing that Richard Dawkins has been your hero since you read ‘The Selfish Gene’, the prestigious Richard Dawkins Award must be extra special for you @Javedakhtarjadu Saab! It’s a truly incredible honour! Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/J5EXqP2I8g
— Anil Kapoor (@AnilKapoor) June 7, 2020
Congratulations @Javedakhtarjadu on being the first Indian to win the Richard Dawkins award for critical thinking ,holding religious dogma upto scrutiny,advancing human progress and humanist values.Previouswinners include Bill Maher and Christopher Hitchens.
It is a real honour pic.twitter.com/wJExqgSTLq
— vir sanghvi (@virsanghvi) June 7, 2020
Updated Date: Jun 07, 2020 18:16:19 IST
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