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Urdu does not belong to a religion: Javed Akhtar

By Nuqra Naqvi, IANS,

New Delhi : Urdu does not enjoy the status that it deserves because of lack of enough government support, said well-known lyricist Javed Akhtar at a Urdu book fair organised at the Jamia Millia Islamia here.

Every year the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL) organises this book fair in different cities for promotion of Urdu language. This year’s book fair started Saturday in Jamia university premises and it was inaugurated by well known scriptwriter Javed Akhtar.

While talking about Urdu language Javed Akhtar said that other languages belong to a region but unfortunately Urdu is the only language which has been assigned a religion. According to him, Urdu was the only language that talked about liberalism and secularism even before these words came into existence.

Another Urdu writer Akhtarul Wasey (Vice Chairman of Delhi Urdu Academy) said “Urdu language does not belong to a religion. None of the languages need religion but all religions need a language.”

Azeez Burni, joint editor of Sahara newspaper, said: “Why do Indians feel ashamed of not being able to speak English? We should not forget that Urdu was the only language that showed its power during the struggle of independence. English was the most hated language at that time but, now the situation is contrary. We have forgotten about our heritage.”

“Urdu will be ahead of all the languages in future because future lies in convergence,” said Dr. Hameedullah Bhatt, director of NCPUL.

He added, “Urdu has a very rich 500 years old past. Very big names of Indian history like Ghalib and Iqbal have been associated with Urdu. But the reason Urdu failed was partition.”

Actress Shabana Azmi said that Urdu needs a lot more to keep its identity alive. She said that she was not invited to the function but her love for Urdu brought her here and the same kind of love and passion is needed to strengthen Urdu’s position.

Khalid Mahmood, M.D. Jamia Makhtaba Pvt. Ltd., said that their publication has been participating in this exhibition since twelve years. He said “this publication existed even before independence and it continues to exist in spite of the tough time it went through. It is true that Urdu does not enjoy the same status as English because of lack of support but still it is growing.”

(Nuqra Naqvi can be contacted at [email protected])