Acclaimed lyricist, screenwriter, and poet Javed Akhtar's comments in Pakistan on 26/11 terrorists "roaming free" in the country and the bitterness in the hearts of Indians have drawn huge applause in India.
Akhtar was last week welcomed with thunderous applause at the 7th Faiz Festival in Lahore. Apart from his love for great Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Akhtar (78) spoke largely about language, both English and mother tongue - be t Hindi, Urdu, or a regional one - and the need to give the same respect to all of them.
During an interaction, Akhtar said that Pakistan couldn't blame Indians for being angry.
The lyricist was responding to the audience saying: "You have visited Pakistan so many times. When you go back, do you tell your people that these are good people, they aren't just bombing us but also greeting us with garlands and love?"
Akhtar replied: "We should not blame each other. It will solve nothing. The atmosphere is tense, which should be doused. We are people from Mumbai, and we have seen the attack on our city. They (the attackers) did not come from Norway or Egypt. They are still roaming free in your country. So if there is anger in the Hindustani's heart, you can't complain," as per reports.
India has hosted Pakistani greats such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mehdi Hassan, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, but Pakistan never had a Lata Mangeshkar show, Akhtar pointed out.
His comments in Pakistan are being equated on social media to the surgical strikes.
Akhtar, in his starting remarks, shared that Faiz is widely followed and read in India even today.
"His works had some magic. They are published and read not just in Urdu, but also in Devnagri. His fans are not limited to Pakistan or India," said Akhtar, Express Tribune reported.
The revered poet believes that the competition and hatred between the neighboring countries have spread through language and culture.
"Some so-called messiahs of language on our side, either it's for Urdu or some other language, say remove this particular word because it is not ours. You keep removing, and the language will keep getting poorer," Akhtar said, adding that script is not language and there are several words that we use in our daily life that are either Turkish, Punjabi, or even Japanese for that matter, Express Tribune reported. (KB/IANS)