Acclaimed Poet, writer, and lyricist Javed Akhtar have been awarded the prestigious Richard Dawkins Award 2020 for holding religious dogma up to scrutiny, advancing human progress
and humanist values. Javed has been very vocal in his writing and speeches about topics
like CAA and Islamophobia. This award made him the only Indian to ever receive this honor.
Previous winners of this award include comedian and political commentator Bill Maher and American intellectual and social critic Christopher Hitchens.
Javed Akhtar has been one of the strong voices of dissent and logic in the country. His fierce views on politics, science, society, religion, and art makes him one of the most distinguished faces in the country.
Accepting this huge honor, Javed Akhtar said, “I have been a great admirer of Richard Dawkins ever since I read his first book The Selfish Gene. I received an email from him informing me that I had been unanimously selected for the award by the board of Centre for Inquiry USA in which The Richard Dawkins Foundation is housed. Richard Dawkins is a fierce advocate of empirical science over superstition. I have read all his books and they have strengthened my own views on the need to expose religious dogma as an enemy of critical thinking and rationality.”
Meanwhile, his elated children Zoya and Farhan Akhtar were the first to congratulate their father on his huge win.
Richard Dawkins Award has been presented since 2003 and is named after English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.