Javed Akhtar on receiving Richard Dawkins Award 2020: ‘It’s fulfilment of a dream I had not even seen’
Noted writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar has been bestowed with the prestigious Richard Dawkins Award for critical thinking, holding religious dogma upto scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values.
Admitting feeling honoured, the lyricist said that to have his name included in the list with previous recipients such as comedian Bill Maher and philosopher Christoper Hitchens is a fulfilment of a dream he had not even seen.
"I am deeply honoured to receive the Richard Dawkins Award 2020. I have admired Richard Dawkins ever since I read his first book ‘The Selfish Gene'. I have since then read every book of his and ‘The God Delusion' is my absolute favourite. To have my name included in the distinguished list of the previous recipients such as Bill Maher and Christoper Hitchens is a fulfilment of a dream I had not even seen," said Akhtar.
Be it on social media or at sessions in different cities, Akhtar, who describes himself as an atheist, has been vocal about subjects like CAA and Islamophobia.
Reacting to the news, his wife and veteran actress Shabana Azmi also said, "He is the only Indian ever (to win the award). Previous recipients include Bill Maher and Christopher Hitchens. It is a huge honour."
Actress and environmentalist, Dia Mirza too took to Twitter to extend her wishes. "He is the only Indian to have won this award! Congratulations! You make us proud," she wrote.
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
Named after English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, the award has been presented since 2003.
With inputs from IANS