- Last week, Javed Akhtar compared Taliban with RSS
- Shiv Sena defends RSS after Mr Akhtar comparison with Taliban remark
The political party in power in Maharashtra, Shiv Sena, has come to defend the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, the ideological mentor of BJP) after poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar’s comments comparing the RSS to the Taliban.
Javed Akhtar was “completely wrong” in comparing the two, the Sena declared.
In the editorial in the newspaper owned by Shiv Sena, Saamna, the party pointed out that the RSS, for example, had not supported the religious frenzy that accompanied the “beef” issue, and underlined “no frenzy in the name of Hindutva is accepted here… neither the Shiv Sena nor the RSS support that”.
The party added, “We won’t accept madness in the name of Hindutva. How can you say those who favour the concept of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ are of Taliban mindset? We don’t agree with this”.
The editorial also said, “nations like Pakistan, China have supported Taliban rule as human rights, democracy and personal freedom are of no value there. The mindset of Hindustan does not look like that. We are tremendously tolerant in every way.
“Under the guise of the veil of democracy, some people may be trying to bring dictatorship… yet they have a limit. Therefore, it is not proper to compare RSS with Taliban.”
Uddhav Thackeray-led political party also said, “On every occasion…. whenever fanatic and seditious distortions have erupted in the country, Javed Akhtar has torn the masks of those fanatics.
“He has sung ‘Vande Mataram’ irrespective of fundamentalists’ threats. But we do not accept the comparison with the Taliban”.
The editorial asked, “Despite being Hindu-majority… this nation still waves the flag of secularism. It is a reasonable expectation that the majority of Hindus should not be suppressed continuously… Javed Akhtar, what we are saying is right, no?”
During an interaction with NDTV last week, Javed Akhtar drew a parallel saying there is “an uncanny resemblance” between the Taliban and “those who want a Hindu rashtra”.
The RSS which is the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has long held that India is a Hindu “rashtra” or state.
He had said, “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”.
The remark from Javed Akhtar was condemned by the BJP with MLA Ram Kadam from Maharashtra declared it “painful and humiliating” and that no film involving Mr Akhtar could be screened till he apologises.