A criminal defamation complaint has been filed against writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar in Mumbai for comparing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to the Taliban, Bar and Bench reported on Thursday.
The complainant, an RSS member and lawyer named Dhrutman Joshi, accused Akhtar of trying to vilify Hindus with his remarks made while speaking to a news channel on September 3.
In his complaint, Joshi alleged that Akhtar’s remarks were “well planned, thought and calculated” and meant to “defame the RSS” and misguide its supporters. RSS is the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The lawyer said Akhtar was aware that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several ministers have been members of the RSS. Despite that, he made remarks against the organisation without any proof, Akhtar said.
Joshi added: “[The] accused has desperately failed to prove that even one member or supporter of RSS has acted like Taliban and taken over a State or country undemocratically and if he has spotted a gun toting RSS supporter.”
The complainant alleged that Akhtar made the remarks to “promote his hate against RSS and nationalistic people who support RSS”, according to Bar and Bench.
A magistrate court in Kurla in Mumbai will hear Joshi’s complaint on October 30.
Another lawyer in Mumbai had on Wednesday sent the lyricist a defamation notice seeking Rs 100-crore in damages to RSS’ reputation for the remarks, India Today reported.
Akhtar’s comments had drawn wide criticism. BJP MLA Ram Kadam had said on September 5 that the party will not allow the screening of films involving the lyricist until he apologises for the remarks. Maharashtra’s ruling party Shiv Sena had also said that Akhtar’s comments were “disrespectful to the Hindu culture”.