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Rich and privileged the only minority in India: Javed Akhtar

MUMBAI: Celebrated script writer-poet Javed Akhtar today said the rich and the “privileged” were “the only minority” in the country and they were the ones who ruled it.

“This country is ruled by a minority, a very miniscule minority and they are the privileged rich class. They are the rulers,” Akhtar said while speaking at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet here.

Akhtar, who was speaking on the topic ‘Acts of Faith’, said that 58 per cent of the wealth in the country was owned by one percent of its people while the majority mass remained deprived of it.

“The rich and the privileged don’t want to establish that the society is divided horizontally because they need to make sure that the rich and poor Hindus are one side and likewise with the Muslims. It is the privileged who see to it that the society is constantly divided vertically,” he said.

“For the rulers, division should be ensured between communities and not the rich and poor. The only crime in this country is to be poor,” Akhtar said.

Even a rich and influential Muslim can get away with murder, he said, adding it would happen because he is a “privileged person”.

“I don’t want to name people. If you are rich, whether a Hindu or a Muslim, one can get away with murder as the person is priviledged,” he said.

“We should become secular because for that is a matter of survival not because we are good people,” he added.

Referring to the condition of Muslims in the country, Akhtar said India had “strange relationship” with its minorities which he “cannot understand”.

“Out of 53 so-called Islamic countries, 49 countries do not have the kind of laws that we have in India. There is the Muslim Personal Law, which does not exist either in Pakistan or Bangladesh. The teen talaq (triple talaq) is not allowed in most Muslim-majority countries,” Akhtar said.

“A woman is not a minority and not an Indian. She is only the property of a Muslim who is an Indian citizen. She is a thing,” he said.