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Important to stay united: Javed Akhtar on growing communal tensions amid COVID-19 crisis

Religion Belief

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

It is important to stay united and have faith in each other to fight the coronavirus pandemic, veteran lyricist-screenwriter Javed Akhtar said on Sunday, expressing concerns over the attack on healthcare workers and cases of communal tension in the country.

In a video shared by Akhtar's wife, veteran actor Shabana Azmi on Twitter, the writer urged people to stand together in this time of crisis.

"The country is undergoing a crisis at this point of time. To fight this crisis called coronavirus, it is important for us to be united. If we will keep suspecting each other or won't understand each other's intentions, there will be no unity, then how will we fight it?

"You must salute these doctors who are endangering their lives to test you. Unless you get tested, you will not know whether you have the disease or not. You can be treated only after that. It's a matter of stupidity that, I've heard, people are pelting stones on those doctors. This should not be done," Akhtar said in the 2 minute-long clip.

The 75-year-old lyricist also said that targeting a particular community defeats the goal of unity.

"I also hear that shops of a particular community are being shut, 'thelas' are being overturned or people are hit so that they can flee. This is not how unity works. We will have to believe each other. We all are citizens of this country," he said.

Akhtar appealed to the Muslim community to offer prayers from home in the holy month of Ramzan, which will begin from April 24 or April 25.

"I request all the Muslim brothers that now that Ramzan is coming, please say your prayers but make sure that this doesn't cause problems to anyone else. The prayers that you do in the mosque, you can do that at home. According to you, the house, the ground, this all has been made by Him. Then you can do your prayers anywhere," he said.

"Ensure that your speech, slogans and deeds don't create any suspicion in the minds of others. And to all the other citizens of the country, I'd say please have faith in each other, practice unity, don't resort to hatred. Only with the help of love and trust, we will be able to fight with the coronavirus," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sun, April 19 2020. 14:16 IST