It is our language: Javed Akhtar says Urdu belongs to Hindustan

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Bollywood’s renowned lyricist Javed Akhtar is in the headlines once again after he shared his thoughts about Urdu. Akhtar made the statement when he attended the launch of Dr Satinder Sartaaj’s Urdu poetry album titled Shayarana – Sartaj with his wife Shabana Azmi, as per Hindustan Times. He also went on to say at the event that Urdu doesn’t belong to Pakistan or Egypt, but to ‘Hindustan’.

At the event, Akhtar told the reporters, “Urdu hasn’t come from any other place…it is our own language. It isn’t spoken outside of 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 Hindustani 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.”

Akhtar further shared that a language is based on a region, not a religion. “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,” the writer added.

Previously, Akhtar’s visit to Lahore for the 7th Faiz Festival created quite a stir on social media. Apart from expressing his love for the legendary Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz and respecting all languages, his controversial remarks about the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks roaming freely in Pakistan have angered many.

Akhtar has been vocal about his opinions against the Pakistani Government, over the years, on his social media and tweeted multiple times about various incidents. Most recently, the Jee Le Zara lyricist said that Indians have catered several events for Pakistani artists, such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Mehdi Hassan, but Pakistan has never hosted Lata Mangeshkar. The audience applauded his comment.

He further said that they shouldn’t blame each other. He continued: “That won’t solve issues. The ongoing political turmoil needs to cool down. I am from Mumbai and all of us witnessed the attack on the city. The attackers weren’t from Norway, or from Egypt. They are still present in your country, so you should not be offended if an Indian complains about this.”

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