Javed says he is delighted to be the first recipient of this prestigious award.
It really can’t get any more secular than this. Poet, litterateur, author, lyricist, activist thinker and self-professed non-religious Muslim, Javed Akhtar has just shut all the trolls up.
On Friday Javed was awarded the Shanti Doot (messenger of peace) award by one of the most revered temples in India — the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir in Varanasi — that has instituted a peace price to honour exceptional messengers of peace.
Javed says he is delighted to be the first recipient of this prestigious award. “Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir is undoubtedly the most revered Hanuman temple in the country. Sangeet samaaroh is their 95-year-old week-long tradition but this is the first time that the temple management decided to give a ‘Shanti Doot’ award. I am humbled and deeply touched,” he says.s
The lyrist feels one such gesture of peace and harmony countermands much of the vitriolic spread by hate-mongerers. “This is our real India. Here all religious beliefs co-exist and those who champion peace effectively shut those trying to disrupt harmony,” he says. And his wife, actor Shabana Azmi believes this award is a reply to trolls.“I think this award given by one of the most revered temples of India is the most befitting reply to those who troll Javed,” says a proud Shabana.