While launching an Urdu poetry album titled Shayarana – Sartaj with wife Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar emphasised the importance of the Urdu language and the role Punjab played in its past growth and prominence. He also went on to say at the event that Urdu doesn’t belong to Pakistan or Egypt, it belongs to ‘Hindustan’.
The veteran lyricist and writer spoke about the poems in the nearly extinct ‘Urdu’ language from Punjab and praised Dr Satinder Sartaaj for keeping it alive.
At the event, Javed stated, “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.”
The writer also believed that language is not based on religions, but of regions. Giving the example of Europe, he shared that if language was based on religion, then it would only have one language.
Last month, Javed had travelled for a literary event held in the memory of renowned Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz. A video of Javed speaking about the relations between India and Pakistan had become viral on social media.
The writer had 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.”
Last week, he visited the home of the late actor-filmmaker Satish Kaushik to pay his condolences after he died of a heart attack on March 9. Satish had visited Javed’s home to celebrate Holi earlier in the week.
(with inputs from ANI)