Javed Akhtar becomes first Indian to win Richard Dawkins Award

Poet, lyricist and writer Javed Akhtar has won several awards and titles during his illustrious career. Now he has been honoured with the prestigious Richard Dawkins Award for “critical thinking, holding religious dogma upto scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values”.

The award has been presented since 2003, and is named after Richard Dawkins, an English evolutionary biologist who was named the world’s top thinker in a 2013 reader’s poll of the Prospect Magazine. The CFI (Center for Inquiry) states that : “The recipient will be a distinguished individual from the worlds of science, scholarship, education or entertainment, who publicly proclaims the values of secularism and rationalism, upholding scientific truth wherever it may lead”.

Previous recipients of the awards include Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist , and popular science author Steven Arthur Pinker in 2013 and English actor, comedian and writer Stephen John Fry in 2018.

In 2020 the renowned veteran writer-lyricist became the first Indian recipient of this prestigious award. He states that he has been a great admirer of Richard Dawkins ever since he read Dawkin’s first book ‘The Selfish Gene’. 

Shabana Azmi , Zoya Akhtar and Farhan Akhtar shared the news on social media on his big win.


Other celebrities like Anil Kapoor, Dia Mirza also took Twitter to congratulate the veteran poet.