Poet, lyricist and screenwriter Javed Akhtar. (Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images)
Veteran screenwriter Javed Akhtar warned “bigots,” March 28, to be wary of communalizing the Indian film industry, which he termed as “the citadel of secularism.”
The 73-year-old lyricist-writer’s comments come after India-based French journalist Francois Gautier had responded to reports of a planned on-screen adaptation of “Mahabharat,” in which Aamir Khan could possibly play Krishna, highlighting the Bollywood star’s religion.
Without naming Gautier, Akhtar, who has spent 53-years in films, asked people to stop spreading hatred in the name of faith in the field of cinema.
“I had joined film industry in 1965 on a salary of 50 rupees per month. In these 53 years not for a second I have experienced or even seen any communal bias in our industry.
“This film industry is the citadel of secularism. Bigots, don’t try to pollute it,” he tweeted, March 28.
Gautier had tweeted, “Why should @AamirKhan, a Muslim, play in most ancient & sacred of Hindu epics, the Mahabharata? Is @BJP4India Govt of @narendramodi going to be like the @INCIndia & just stand by in name of secularism??? Would Muslims allow a Hindu to play life of Mohamed?”
Akhtar had earlier slammed the journalist for behaving like a PR machine, calling him “clueless” about Indian history and films.
“Can somebody educate this clueless idiot Gautier that a film “Mahabharata” was made in 1965 and had become a super hit. The producer’s name was Ghaffar Bhai Nadiadwala. This is India that we are proud of. Can some body explain it to the dimwit,” Akhtar had written, earlier.