Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Home News Reports Javed Akhtar wins the Richard Dawkins Award: Here is how the drama unfolded

Javed Akhtar wins the Richard Dawkins Award: Here is how the drama unfolded

Javed Akhtar and his wife also expressed his jubilation on winning the award while giving statements to the media.

A strange series of events unfolded on social media ever since Shabana Azmi announced that her husband, Javed Akhtar, had won the Richard Dawkins Award which is awarded by the Center For Inquiry (CFI) for contributions towards furthering the cause of reason and science. The same fact was covered by the entirety of Indian media but strangely, no such confirmation has come as yet from the CHI itself.

On the 7th of June, Shabana Azmi had said on Twitter, “Javed Akhtar wins Richard Dawkins Award 2020 for critical thinking, holding religious dogma up to scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values.” She was clearly overjoyed by the prospect.

Shabana Azmi congratulated Javed Akhtar on social media for winning the award
The tweet by Shabana Azmi congratulating Javed Akhtar

Javed Akhtar and his wife also expressed his jubilation on winning the award while giving statements to the media. He told the Indian Express, “Validation is for someone who has even an iota of doubt about what he or she thinks. But I have always been so sure about my thinking. But I am thrilled for this one because it is the first time I have been awarded for my views, my thought process, my rationality, my thoughts on religion. It is the ultimate recognition because it comes from a huge institution.”

“I am thrilled! I know what a hero Richard Dawkins has been for Javed. The award gains all the more significant because, in today’s time when secularism is being attacked by religious fundamentalists of all hues, this award comes as a validation of Javed’s long service to rational thinking,” said Shabana Azmi.

As it turns out, the story got a little complicated henceforth. For a long time, there was no announcement or press release from CFI confirming the same.

When one searches for ‘Akhtar’ on the CFI website

If that wasn’t enough to fuel speculations, a screenshot of an alleged text from an NDTV employee has gone viral which claimed that Javed Akhtar had, in fact, not won the award yet and worse, the lyricist mistook the nomination for the same. The screenshot claimed that Javed Akhtar was nominated by a group of rationalists and activists based in London and the proposal was then sent to Richard Dawkins. Javed Akhtar was apparently in the copy of the mail that was sent.

However, Javed Akhtar mistook the nomination for the actual award. Consequently, he shared the good news with his acquaintances in India Media which promptly shared the news with the wider public although there was no official statement regarding the same. Now, the group which had mad the proposal is now pressurising CFI to give the award to Javed Akhtar because if he isn’t now, then liberals in India will be shamed by ‘rightwing bigots’ and ‘neo-fascists’.

The viral text

Shabana Azmi had then come forward and strongly denied these claims. According to her, they had received an email from Richard Dawkins on the 5th of June and Robyn Blumner who heads the CFI. She said that claims to the contrary were ‘preposterous’ and made by trolls.

After several doubts were cast on whether or not Javed Akhtar had actually won the Richard Dawkins award, finally, today Dawkins tweeted confirming the award.

There is another intriguing aspect of the whole affair here. The Bollywood entertainers are obviously overjoyed by the prospect of winning the Richard Dawkins Award. But it appears a little inconsistent with their stance on politics in India. Richard Dawkins had once compared Islam to Cancer. The renowned missionary of atheism had also said that Islamophobia is justifiable, which of course goes completely against the political stance of Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Searched termsjaved akhtar
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

 

Related Articles

Trending now

Arnab Goswami to sue Congress, challenges Rahul Gandhi to one-on-one debate

Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami has decided to sue Congress and take strong action against the alleged lies peddled by the grand old party and its senior leaders including Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi.

‘Kerala model’ still struggling to fight coronavirus, accounts for 45% of the country’s total fresh cases

Kerala reported 6,186 positive cases on Tuesday, 19 January. The test positivity rate in Kerala stood at 9.34%.

Congress to raise the issue of Arnab Chat Gate in the upcoming Parliamentary session

The leaked WhatsApp chats between Arnab Goswami and Ex-BARC COO Parth Dasgupta had created a political furore

Every child is born a Muslim: Islamic hate preacher Zakir Naik claims in his latest video

Islamic hate preacher Dr Zakir Naik in his latest video posted on his YouTube channel has claimed that every child 'is born a Muslim'.

After championing #MeToo movement, actor Richa Chadha defends working with sexual harassment accused Subhash Kapoor

Subhash Kapoor, who is the director of Richa Chadha-starrer 'Madam Chief Minister', was accused of sexual misconduct by actor Geetika Tyagi in 2014

President Trump pardons over 140 people, including former aide Steve Bannon on his final day at the office

"President Donald J. Trump granted pardons to 73 individuals and commuted the sentences of an additional 70 individuals," the White House said in a statement.

Recently Popular

The hidden chats in the TRP Chargesheet that nobody is talking about, not even the police: India Today and BARC

In the TRP case chargesheet, pages of personal chats between Arnab Goswami and the ex-BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta have been added

‘Jack Ma is safe and sound’, is ‘laying low’ claims founder and chairman of equity firm Primavera Capital Group

Days after his unflattering opinion of the Chinese authorities, Alibaba founder Jack Ma went mysteriously missing

‘Madam Chief Minister’ poster row: Bhim Sena threatens to cut off Richa Chadha’s tongue, actress apologises for poster

The poster of 'Madam Chief Minister' showed Richa Chadha holding a broom. Many have called it an offensive stereotyping of the Dalit community.

Arnab vs Navika: Arnab responds to Navika’s emotional monologue, says he carried his shoes with him

Recently, Navika Kumar said that when Arnab left Time Now, she had his shoes to fill. However, Arnab gives a befitting reply.

Has China constructed a new village inside Arunachal Pradesh? Not quite: How NDTV misled with its ‘exclusive’ report

Report China building a village inside Arunachal Pradesh was bought out by NDTV yesterday - and it turned out to be fake news

British-Pakistani singer Zayn Malik says he loves India and fans can’t keep calm

Recently, Zayn Malik was heard singing Mohammad Rafi's Chaudavi Ka Chand in the track Tightrope.
- Advertisement -

 

Niira Radia Tapes: Read how Navika Kumar was in thick with the infamous lobbyist known for brokering ministerial berths in the UPA regime

Navika Kumar had allegedly spoke to lobbyist Niira Radia over an imminent revolt within the BJP party following the 2009 General elections

Arnab Goswami to sue Congress, challenges Rahul Gandhi to one-on-one debate

Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami has decided to sue Congress and take strong action against the alleged lies peddled by the grand old party and its senior leaders including Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi.

‘Bengal mangoge toh cheer denge’ – TMC’s Madan Mitra threatens BJP ahead of West Bengal assembly elections

Madan Mitra threatens to rip BJP leaders saying 'Doodh maangoge to kheer denge, Bengal mangoge to cheer denge'

Former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta denied bail despite deteriorating health conditions

Partho Dasgupta is currently admitted at JJ Hospital by Taloja jail officials and is in a very critical condition.

‘Kerala model’ still struggling to fight coronavirus, accounts for 45% of the country’s total fresh cases

Kerala reported 6,186 positive cases on Tuesday, 19 January. The test positivity rate in Kerala stood at 9.34%.

Congress to raise the issue of Arnab Chat Gate in the upcoming Parliamentary session

The leaked WhatsApp chats between Arnab Goswami and Ex-BARC COO Parth Dasgupta had created a political furore

Every child is born a Muslim: Islamic hate preacher Zakir Naik claims in his latest video

Islamic hate preacher Dr Zakir Naik in his latest video posted on his YouTube channel has claimed that every child 'is born a Muslim'.

Vellore: Christian man vandalises Hindu temple by painting Cross on its walls

On the night of 14 January, Baskar had allegedly turned off the street lights and painted the cross on the walls of the temple

After championing #MeToo movement, actor Richa Chadha defends working with sexual harassment accused Subhash Kapoor

Subhash Kapoor, who is the director of Richa Chadha-starrer 'Madam Chief Minister', was accused of sexual misconduct by actor Geetika Tyagi in 2014

President Trump pardons over 140 people, including former aide Steve Bannon on his final day at the office

"President Donald J. Trump granted pardons to 73 individuals and commuted the sentences of an additional 70 individuals," the White House said in a statement.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
22,800SubscribersSubscribe