Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray held a rally, Padwa Melava in Mumbai on the occasion of Gudi Padwa. While addressing the crowd, he praised lyricist and writer Javed Akhtar for his remarks on the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks during an event in Pakistan. Also read: Javed Akhtar says ‘religion does not make a nation’, cites Pakistan’s example
The rally was held at Dadar’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Park on Wednesday. During his speech, Raj Thackeray said, “I want people like Javed Akhtar and many more. I want Indian Muslims who speak against Pakistan and tell them our power. Javed Akhtar does that and I want Muslims like him.”
Besides Raj Thackeray, several others, including Kangana Ranaut previously lauded Javed Akhtar for speaking his mind. Javed attended a festival honouring writer Faiz Ahmed Faiz, in Lahore where he was told that Indians think all Pakistani are terrorists. He gave a stern reply and said the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks continue to roam freely in Pakistan.
He said, “The attackers weren’t from Norway, or from Egypt. They are still present in your country, so you should not be offended if an Indian complains about this.” He also added that while India has hosted several Pakistani artists in the past, Pakistan never hosted singer Lata Mangeshkar.
Talking about it later, Javed reflected upon the reactions from people to his comments. During an ABP event, he said, “It became too big, it feels embarrassing, feel like I should not go (for such events). Yaha aya to laga pata nahi third World War jeet ke aya hoon (as if I won the third world war). The people and the media have so many reactions. I was embarrrased aisa kya keh diya? Itni baat to kehni padegi, chup rahein kya (we have to say as much, should we just shut up)?”
When asked if he was scared to speak his mind against the country in Lahore, at an event being held in a hall full of Pakistani people, Javed said, “Is tarah ki baatein, jo controversial hain…jis mulk pe paida hue, jeete hain aur marenge waha karte rehte hain to dusre mulk me do din jana waha kya dar tha? Jab yaha nahi darte to waha kya darenge (I make such controversial comments in the country where I was born and will die, why would I be scared in a country I was visiting for two days? I am not scared here, why would I be scared there)?”
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(With Inputs from hindustantimes)