Noted poet-lyricist Javed Akhtar’s evaluation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) with the Taliban was wholly misplaced, stated the Shiv Sena on Monday. Analogising a fanatical movement with Hindutva constituted an insult to Indian culture, it noted. An editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana found that despite being a Hindu majority country, Indian governments had effectively raised the flag of secularism.
“How can you say those who favour the concept of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ are of Talibani mindset? We [the Sena] do not agree with this...The proponents of Hindutva only want that Hindus should not be sidelined. While you can have differences with the RSS, to call their philosophy Talibani is completely wrong,” said the editorial, rebuking Mr Akhtar.
“The official religion of nations like China and Sri Lanka is Buddhism; that of the United States and European nations is Christianity, while the Muslim-majority nations call themselves ‘Islamic Republics’… but despite there being a majority of Hindus in India, the nation today is flying the flag of secularism. So, it is a reasonable expectation that the majority of Hindus should not be suppressed continuously... Javed Akhtar, is what we are saying right?” asked the Sena.
As the BJP clamouring for an apology from Mr Akhtar, safety was accelerated out of doors at his home in Mumbai’s Juhu area.