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Farhan Akhtar celebrates Diwali amidst trolling: shows how trolls cannot disrupt secularism.

Farhan Akhtar celebrates Diwali amidst trolling: shows how trolls cannot disrupt secularism.

Farhan Akhtar celebrates Diwali amidst trolling: shows how trolls cannot disrupt secularism.

A news coverage by Ms. Shivangi Chaterjee.

The Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara actor Farhan Akhtar took to Instagram on 3rd November 2021 to post a group photo where there seem to be prayers taking place. The actor seems to put tilak on his girlfriend’s forehead wherein the same is done by the pandit with others present. Farhan posted the picture with the caption ‘Happy Diwali’ in Hindi. The photo is a lovely representation of how secular the country is and that the citizens celebrate all festivals, irrespective of their religion! The netizens, however, could not digest the idea. He has been trolled unnecessarily for celebrating a Hindu festival, for he is a Muslim.
Some of them even went to the extent of commenting “Are you a Muslim?”


The puja was held on the occasion of Dhanteras in the premises of his company ‘Excel Entertainment’. Both Farhan’s and his business partner Ritesh’s families took part in this puja. After the picture was posted, comments flooded in with foul language where the netizens expressed their fragile sentiments. The Islamic Fundamentalists went to the extent of saying that Farhan was insulting Islam by partaking in it. Although a lot of his fans and liberals, in general, came to his rescue, the numbers were few and unfortunately, the hatred became massive to be noticed and frustrated the Akhtar’s.

Despite the massive hatred received online, Farhan did not shy away from posting another picture with his girlfriend Shibana Dandekar with the caption “Diwali Duo”. They looked gorgeous in ethnic wear, truly in the festive spirit.

Islamists taking offense
The Islamists were quick to take offense and accused Farhan of indulging in activities that are not allowed in his religion. According to Islamic texts, anyone who worships any idol, god, or Father figure other than Allah is said to have committed an unpardonable sin. The idea of Islamic Infallibility lies in the idea, “Islam is exalted and nothing is exalted above it.” Hence, Farhan’s idol worship was called a ‘shirk’, something that is forbidden.

A user commented, “There is no forgiveness for shirk and the world will end one day or another”.

Has the Akhtar family reacted yet?
The whole incident has not been a surprise to the Akhtar family, it has only left them feeling irritated than ever before. Farhan has not yet commented on this, as he is advised by his legal team. A close member of the family, however, got in touch with the media. The person said that the family believes in the equality of all gods. Farhan’s father is a Muslim and his mother a Parsi; she celebrates Diwali every year and hence it is a tradition in the Akhtar family now. Diwali comes as naturally to Farhan as comes Eid. The trolls have no role to play in it.

The family may take legal action towards the controversy. Javed Akhtar, the famous Indian poet, and father of Farhan Akhtar feel like ignoring such hate-filled comments would be playing into their hands. But at the same time, he feels like giving unnecessary attention to the trolls might encourage them and fulfill their motive. Normally Farhan and his family ignore such biases but this time the hate is too much in amount to let it pass by without being affected.

It is not the first time something like this has happened. Many actors, especially Muslims, have been trolled for visiting temples, celebrating Hindu festivals, etc. Actress Sara Ali Khan, for instance, had visited Kedarnath and in an Instagram photograph, she was seen worshipping the idol of Shiva. The Islamists were quick enough to accuse her of disloyalty towards her religion and that she had committed a sin that would never be forgiven until she repented for it. She, among other actors, has always attracted the wrath of extremists for openly following the religions of both of her parents.

Farhan Akhtar being slammed is not surprising. It is however shocking that the new generation has not been different from such ridiculous beliefs. Religion was devised to make humans cooperative, civilized, and feel a sense of brotherhood. Yet, centuries have passed by with religion being used as a tool for violence, accusations, and justifications.
Despite the trolling, slamming, and accusations, what truly inspires the commoners is the courage these celebrities show. They continue following multiple idols, beliefs, customs, cultures, traditions, etc., being the real representative of India on a global platform. It is time we shift our focus from trolls and encourage the tolerance power these actors have for it is unfair to make them feel like an outcast in their own country!