An average Hindu is just like an average Muslim, says Javed Akhtar
"An average Muslim is just like an average Hindu. Every community would have its own sets of benign bisects that would enable them to like their own language, religion or community more than the others."
The renowned poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar on Friday said that there is no divide between an average Hindu and an average Muslim in their way of thinking and living, and the whole idea of division on religious grounds is imposed upon the society.
While talking on radicalism, fundamentalism and Islamophobia, Akhtar said: "An average Muslim is just like an average Hindu. Every community would have its own sets of benign bisects that would enable them to like their own language, religion or community more than the others."
"But an average Muslim would never want to kill someone because he is from a different religion just like an average Hindu won't," he said at a session on Tata Steel Kolkata Library Meet.
Akhtar mentioned the similarity between Hindu and Muslim community shows how they are actually one.
"Even marriage ceremonies have so many similarities, except for the concept of 'nikah' and 'fera'. The tragedy of Partition took place in Bengal and Punjab where everything about the inhabitants was so similar in spite of being from two different religions," he said.
Akhtar stressed that the common man survives and flourishes in harmony while the communalist survives in chaos.
"The communalists will always try to keep you in a war-zone. How can he be your well wisher?"
"The radicalisation and Islamophobia are parallel. They feed each other. The more the radicalisation, the more is Islamophobia. It is like a cycle. Also, there isn't much difference between extremism and terrorism. Extremism is mental terrorism and terrorism is extremist in action," Akhtar remarked.
Akhtar also said about the rise in mistrust against the Muslims around the world. "The tragedy is the minority community is identified by the worst person in the community while the majority community is identified by the best person among them", he remarked.
"Would anyone in his wildest imagination, identify India's large Hindu community with Nathuram Godse. Obviously not. But the 17-18 crore Muslims in India are sometimes identified with Dawood Ibrahim. This is the example of radicalisation and stereotypes," he added.