By: Shubham Ghosh
Noted Indian writer and poet Javed Akhtar recently slammed the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks on the soil of Pakistan and his remarks that the terrorists were “roaming free” in the country and the bitterness in the hearts of Indians went viral on social media.
The 78-year-old visited the neighbouring country last week to attend a festival in Lahore in memory of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, a legendary Urdu poet.
During an interaction, the renowned lyricist spoke about defusing tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbours and said Pakistan could not blame Indians for being angry at it.
Akhtar said this after he was asked by someone in the audience, “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?”
“We should not blame each other. It will solve nothing. The atmosphere is tense, that should be doused. We are people from Mumbai, we have seen the attack on our city. They (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,” Akhtar replied.
The veteran also said that Indian artistes had not been welcomed in Pakistan in the way India had hosted legends from Pakistan.
“When Faiz Sahab visited, he was received like a very important visitor. It was broadcast all over. We hosted big functions of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Mehdi Hasan. You (Pakistan) never organized a function for Lata Mangeshkar?” he said, drawing cheers and claps.
The poet’s remarks were widely shared and praised and one even called it his “surgical strike” in Pakistan.
Javed Akhtar’s comments are being widely shared and praised. Some called it his “surgical strike” in Pakistan.
Hindi film actor Kangana Ranaut was among those who cheered Akhtar for his remarks.
Jab main Javed saab ki poetry sunti hoon toh lagta tha yeh kaise Maa Swarsati ji ki in pe itni kripa hai, lekin dekho kuch toh sachchai hoti hai insaan mein tabhi toh khudai hoti hai unke saath mein … Jai Hind @Javedakhtarjadu saab… 🇮🇳
Ghar mein ghuss ke maara .. ha ha 🇮🇳🇮🇳 https://t.co/1di4xtt6QF
— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) February 21, 2023
In a tweet in Hindi she said, “When I listen to Javed Saab’s poetry, I wonder how blessed he is by Goddess Saraswati. But there must be something pure in the person for God to bless them. Jai Hind @Javedakhtarjadu saab. Ghar mein ghuss ke maara (you beat them in their own backyard).”
Here are reactions to Akhtar’s remarks in Pakistan:
Javed Akhtar takes on Pakistan sitting in Pakistan. Reminds them of Mumbai 26/11 attacks which were carried out by terror group of Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/066Un01v66
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) February 21, 2023
So proud of my Film fraternity @Javedakhtarjadu you make us proud. https://t.co/UpKqEbyAWV
— RAJ BANSAL (@rajbansal9) February 21, 2023
Javed akhtar doing surgical strike in pakistan 💥💪pic.twitter.com/Iaa4lgcMSP
— Prayag (@theprayagtiwari) February 21, 2023
So….. #javedakhtar sahab went to #Lahore for #FaizFestival2023 and said this! 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻@Javedakhtarjadu sahab 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/X6x2Pcp3ef
— Satya Nutella 🐀 (@satyanas) February 20, 2023