More than four months after winning the 2020 Richard Dawkins Award, the trophy has reached Javed Akhtar. The first Indian to receive the honor, Akhtar was rewarded for his “critical thinking and scrutiny of religious dogma and advancement of human progress.” Whether on social media or at sessions in different cities, Akhtar has spoken on topics such as CAA and Islamophobia.
– Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana)
October 26, 2020
The prize has been awarded since 2003 and is named after the English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.
“I am very honored to receive the Richard Dawkins Award 2020. I have admired Richard Dawkins since reading his first book ‘The Selfish Gene’. I have read every book of his since then and ‘The God Delusion’ is my absolute favorite” To include my name in the distinguished list of previous recipients such as Bill Maher and Christoper Hitchens is the fulfillment of a dream I hadn’t even seen, ”Akhtar said in June this year.
However, the announcement was marred by controversy when a social media post claimed that Javed Akhtar mistaken an email recommending his name for the honor as the award. The post claimed that a London-based group of rationalists had suggested Akhtar’s name. Now they urged the concerned authorities to give him credit for avoiding embarrassment. The post also wondered why no official announcement of Akhtar’s honor had been made.
Akhtar’s wife actress Shabana Azmi had knocked back trolls, saying they had an email from Dawkins. Azmi wrote: “Obviously this is not true. We have an email from Richard Dawkins presenting the award and also from Robyn Blumner, head of the Center for Inquiry USA. I feel sad for these pathetic trolls who don’t care. that they make such a ridiculous claim. “
A day later, Dawkins himself confirmed the announcement:
That all ends well.
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