Clearing the air across the 2020 Richard Dawkins Award, the British evolutionary biologist on Tuesday confirmed that lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar was the recipient this 12 months for his “brave public stands on behalf of atheism, rationality and freethought”. “Javed Akhtar @Javedakhtarjadu is the 2020 Richard Dawkins Award winner and I couldn’t be extra happy. The Heart for Inquiry, on whose board I sit, has designated him this 12 months’s recipient for his brave public stands on behalf of atheism, rationality, and freethought,” the creator, on whose identify the award is designated, tweeted.

The announcement got here on the identical day Akhtar’s spouse, veteran actor Shabana Azmi, dismissed a declare by an nameless Twitter person that her writer-husband was solely nominated however did not win the award.

The Twitter person uploaded a screenshot of an obvious Whatsapp chat claiming that Akhtar’s identify was merely “proposed” for the award which he mistook as an announcement.

Quoting that tweet, Azmi mentioned the 75-year-old author had acquired an e mail from Dawkins himself, saying the honour.

“That is patently unfaithful! Now we have an e mail from Richard Dawkins on fifth June providing the award and in addition from Robyn Blumner who heads the Centre for Inquiry, USA. I really feel unhappy for these pathetic trolls who don’t care that they are going to stand uncovered in seconds for such a preposterous declare,” the actor mentioned.

After Dawkins confirmed that Akhtar would be the recipient of award for the 12 months 2020, Azmi tweeted, “From Richard Dawkins. Now the place will the Soiled Methods Division of the Proper Wing cover their faces?”

Akhtar additionally tweeted, saying, “Please examine Mr Richard Dawkins newest tweet. Thanks.”

Yearly, the award recognises a distinguished particular person from the sector of science, scholarship, schooling, or leisure, who publicly proclaims the values of secularism and rationalism and upholding scientific fact.

British actor-comedian Ricky Gervais acquired the honour final 12 months.

Akhtar had advised on Sunday that he was “deeply honoured” to be obtain the award.

“I’ve been an excellent admirer of Richard Dawkins ever since I learn his first e book ‘The Egocentric Gene’. I acquired an e mail from him informing me that I had been unanimously chosen for the award by the board of Heart for Inquiry USA, during which The Richard Dawkins Basis is housed,” Akhtar mentioned.

Azmi earlier advised that the award’s relevance turns into extra distinguished, particularly within the present occasions when secularism is below assault.

“I’m thrilled. I do know what a hero Richard Dawkins has been for Javed. The award beneficial properties all of the extra significance as a result of in at the moment’s time when secularism is being attacked by non secular fundamentalists of all hues, this award comes as a validation of Javed’s lengthy service to rational considering,” Azmi had mentioned.

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