(PTI) : Veteran writer-songwriter Javed Akhtar has won the 2020 Document Award for Critical Thinking examining religious dogma, advancing human progress and humanitarian values.
Akhtar became the first Indian to receive the honor, recognizing a person eminent from the fields of science, scholarship, education, or entertainment, who publicly proclaims the values of secularism and rationality and upholding scientific truth.
Akhtar’s wife, veteran actor Shabana Azmi, said that the relevance of the award becomes more important, especially at the present time when secularism is under attack.
“I am thrilled. I know what Richard Dawkins was, a hero for Javed. Azmi told PTI that this importance has increased even more in today’s time when secularism was attacked by fundamentalists of all religions. Being done, the award comes in recognition of Javed’s long service to rational thinking.
The award is named after Richard Dawkins, a world-renowned English evolutionary biologist. Actor-comedian Ricky Gerwice received the honor last year.
Bollywood celebrities Anil Kapoor and Dia Mirza took to Twitter to congratulate the 75-year-old writer for recognition.
“Knowing that Richard Dawkins has been your hero when you read ‘Gene the Selfish Gene’, the prestigious Richard Dawkins Award should be extra special to you @Javedakhtarjadu Saab! It’s truly an incredible honor! Congratulations! ” Kapoor tweeted.
Diya said that Akhtar’s victory is a proud moment for the country.
“Javed Akhtar Saab has won the prestigious Richard Dawkins Award 2020 for critical thinking, which includes religious dogma, human progress and advancing humanitarian values. He is the only Indian to win this award! Congratulations to @javedakhtarjadu! You make us feel proud, ”Diya wrote.