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Language not linked to religion: Javed Akhtar

Posted on Jan 25, 11:49PM | IBNS

The second day of the 6th edition of Jaipur Literature Festival saw eminent songwriter and poet Javed Akhtar talk to attendees about the real meaning of the ghazal.

He spoke about the art of ghazal singing and the extensive riyaaz (practice) that goes into it.

He started with the fact that not many people can differentiate between a ghazal, geet or nazm.

While a nazm is a poem with one single thought, a ghazal is a compilation of couplets, he explained.

"Ghazals are not just written by Urdu writers," he said. "I know a few German writers who write ghazals. Ghazal is by temperament liberal, secular, and even agnostic."

The discussion included a wider discussion on poetry and language. Akhtar said, "Poetry is the collective dream of a society." And that "language isn't a script and it isn't vocabulary. Instead it is syntax and grammar."

Javed Akhtar @ Jaipur Literature Festival

He said that it depresses him that Urdu has been sacrificed for socio-political reasons.

"Language belongs to a region, not a religion," he emphasised.

Namita Gokhale, Festival Co-Director, said, "It is important for people to know about the ghazal in India because it belongs to this region. With this session I'm sure that people here at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival will now know, 'What is a Ghazal?'"

Ending the session, Akhtar said that it is the world's misfortune that it doesn't have access to great Urdu writers.

He narrated one of his ghazals, which was met with a round of applause by the audience.