Javed Akhtar becomes the first-ever Indian to win prestigious Richard Dawkins Award

Bollywood writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar has become the first Indian to win Richard Dawkins Award 2020 for critical thinking, advancing human progress and humanist values.

The award, which is named after English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, has been presented since 2003.

On Sunday, his wife, and every green actor Shabana Azmi, shared the information on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Bollywood stars Anil Kapoor and Dia Mirza also congratulated the veteran writer through social media posts.

“Knowing that Richard Dawkins has been your hero since you read ‘The Selfish Gene’, the prestigious Richard Dawkins Award must be extra special for you @Javedakhtarjadu Saab! It’s a truly incredible honour! Congratulations,” Kapoor wrote.

“Javed Akhtar Saab has won the prestigious Richard Dawkins Award 2020 for critical thinking, holding religious dogma upto scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values. He is the only Indian to have won this award! @Javedakhtarjadu Congratulations! You make us proud,” Mirza wished the lyricist.

Javed who has written the screenplay for iconic movies like ‘Deewar, Zanjeer’, and ‘Sholay’ along with Salim Khan, has earlier been awarded Padma Shri (1999), Padma Bhushan (2007).

The veteran lyricist and screenwriter also have five National Awards for Best Lyricist to his name and even the Sahitya Akademi Award.

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According to the Centre for Inquiry (CFI), “The recipient will be a distinguished individual from the worlds of science, scholarship, education or entertainment, who publicly proclaims the values of secularism and rationalism, upholding scientific truth wherever it may lead”.

The award has been presented since 2003, and is named after Richard Dawkins, an English evolutionary biologist who was named the world’s top thinker in a 2013 reader’s poll of the Prospect Magazine.

(With ANI inputs)

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