Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi recently launched an Urdu poetry album ‘Shayarana – Sartaj’. Speaking at the event, Javed Akhtar emphasised the importance of the Urdu language and the role Punjab played in its past growth and prominence. Javed Akhtar also said that Urdu doesn’t belong to Pakistan or Egypt, it belongs to ‘Hindustan’. He said, “Urdu hasn’t come from any other place…it is our own language. It isn’t spoken outside Hindustan…Pakistan also came into existence after Partition from India, earlier it was a part of India only. So, the language isn’t spoken outside Hindustan…”
He added, “Punjab has a big contribution towards Urdu and it is the language of India! But why did you leave this language? Because of partition? Because of Pakistan? Urdu should be given attention. Earlier it was only Hindustan – Pakistan later separated from Hindustan. Now Pakistan said that Kashmir is ours…will you believe that? I think ‘No’! Likewise, Urdu is a Hindustan(i) language and it remains (so). Nowadays, new generation youths speak less Urdu and Hindi in our country. Today more focus is on English. We must speak in Hindi because it’s our national language”.
He further said, “Language is not based on religions, but of regions. If language was based on religion, then the whole of Europe would have one language. That’s why the language is not of religion, but of the region.”
Javed Akhtar recently created a buzz with his statement against Pakistan. Javed Akhtar was heard saying that the perpetrators and conspirators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks were still “roaming freely” in Pakistan.
Responding to someone in the audience while attending a poetry festival in Lahore, he was purportedly heard in the video, “When you visit your homeland, do you tell your fellow citizens, ‘we (Pakistanis) are good people, we don’t just bomb people but also greet with garlands?’”
“Blaming each other won’t solve our problems. Aham baat yeh hai ki jo garam hai fiza, woh kam honi chahiye. Hum toh Bambaiye log hain. Hamne dekha wahan kaise hamla hua tha. Wo log Norway se toh nahi aaye the naa Egypt se aaye the, wo log abhi bhi aapke mulk me ghum rahe hain. Toh ye shikayat agar Hindustani ke dil mein ho toh aapko bura nahi manna chahiye. (We saw how Mumbai was attacked. They (terrorists) came neither from Norway nor Egypt. They are still roaming freely in your country. So you shouldn’t be offended if there’s a grouse and bitterness in Indian hearts over the 26/11 attacks,” Akhtar said at the literary event held in the memory of renowned Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
Akhtar said, “I wouldn’t hesitate to say that though we have organised so many grand functions of Nusrat (Fateh Ali Khan) sahab and Mehdi Hassan sahab in our country, you couldn’t organise a single event of Lata (Mangeshkar) ji.”