By Sukant Deepak
He says language does not belong to religions, but regions. That God speaks to each one in his or her own language. Javed Akhtar, the atheist, rebel child at 16, the love letter writer for friends in college, the one who believes that the simplicity of dialogues in Sholay make them unforgettable even 49 years later, when asked about what inspires him, smiles, “Well, deadlines and panic continue to be the driving force.”
Someone, who kicked up quite a storm during his recent visit to Pakistan for the ‘Faiz Festival’ with his comments on the 26/11 perpetrators still roaming free there, stresses, “Well, the media reported what I said during my visit across the border, but how many outlets (media) bothered to convey that there was a huge applause by the Pakistani audience. Let us not forget that many there want good relations with India. Relations between governments must not affect ties between people.”
Even as Urdu continues to vanish from the mainstream, a language that was used widely in Punjab, the lyricist, who was part of the Chitkara Lit. Fest held in Chandigarh wonders what is stopping the current generation from learning it. “People proudly say that their grandparents were well-versed in the language, but I always wonder what is stopping the young from learning?”
Stressing that in the 20th century, Punjab’s contribution to the language has been immense — nazm, ghazal all started here, he adds, “Religion borrows our language. This state was bilingual, and you have done a mistake by leaving Urdu. I feel it is important to know how to read it, and that is where the role of educational institutes comes in. I really hope universities start teaching Urdu.”
Someone who always wanted to get into films and idolised Guru Dutt says it was dialogue writing that gave him recognition, and then began a new journey of writing poetry and lyrics. (IANS)
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