Javed Akhtar (born 17 January 1945) is an Indian political activist, poet, lyricist and screenwriter, originally from Gwalior area. He is a recipient of the Padma Shri (1999), Padma Bhushan (2007), the Sahitya Akademi Award as well as five National Film Awards. In early part of his career he was a screenplay writer, creating movies like Deewar, Zanjeer and Sholay. Later he left screenplay writing and became a lyricist and social-political activist . He also remained member of Rajya Sabha.. In 2020 he received the Richard Dawkins Award for his contribution to secularism, free thinking, for critical thinking, holding religious dogma up to scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values. Javed Akhtar was chosen as a recipient for the Richard Dawkins Award for being "the bright light for reason, freethought, and atheism in a dark time"