Lyricist Javed Akhtar became the first Indian to be named as the recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award. He has been honoured for critical thinking, holding religious dogma up to scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values.
Talking to a news agency, Akhtar said that he is deeply honoured as he has been a great admirer of Richard Dawkins ever since he read his first book, ‘The elfish Gene’. The 75-year-old lyricist said that he was informed about the honour via email and that he was selected unanimously for the award by the board of Center for Inquiry UA, in which The Richard Dawkins Foundation is housed.
Every year, the award recognises a distinguished individual from the field of science, scholarship, education, or entertainment, who publicly proclaims the values of secularism and rationalism and upholding scientific truth.
Javed Akhtar’s wife habana Azmi speaking to a news agency said that the award’s relevance becomes more prominent especially in the current times when secularism is under attack.