Lyricist Javed Akhtar has become the first Indian to be named the recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award, named after the renowned evolutionary biologist.
Akhtar has been given the honour for critical thinking, holding religious dogma up to scrutiny and advancing human progress and humanist values.
“I am deeply honoured. I have been a great admirer of Richard Dawkins ever since I read his first book The Selfish Gene,” Akhtar, 75, told PTI.
The award’s relevance becomes more prominent, especially in the current times when secularism is under attack, said Shabana Azmi, actor and Akhtar’s wife.