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Promoting Urdu, But No Javed Akhtar?



The decision  taken by  The National Council  For  The Promotion  Of Urdu Languages  to use Salman Khan,Shah  Rukh Khan and Katrina  Kaif to promote the  Urdu language has  triggered off a wave  of  outraged protest.

The  social media has  rightly ridiculed  the decision, pointing at Javed Akhtar among  the people most qualified  to promote the  language as he can both read and  write Urdu fluently(which  Shabana Azmi cannot).

When contacted Javed Saab  refrained from comment as this matter involves his former creative  partner Salim  Khan’s son Salman who  it must be  mentioned  can’t speak  or write  Urdu and pronounces  ‘Khan’ as ‘Caan’.Shah Rukh speaks Urdu  but cannot write it. Katrina  can’t speak two lines of Hindi at one go.

If you ask me this  is  the lowest  kind of  communal appeasement and  the worst  sort of  reflex action . Those who decided that these three stars(Salman,  Shah Rukh , Katrina) must promote Urdu just checked their  surnames  and their  box office ratings. The level of  presumption in the selection is alarming.

 Why should you  presume that Shah Rukh,Salman and Katrina  can even speak  or write Urdu  on the basis  of their  religion? You are presuming that every Muslim reads  and writes Urdu and that Urdu is restricted  to  Muslims only. But  a language is not about religion. It’s about region. Gulzar Saab  is not Muslim.  But he  can  read and  write Urdu fluently. Dharmendra  writes his  poetry in fluent Urdu. Manoj Kumar is also  fluent in Urdu. Why  shouldn’t these distinguished cinema personalities  be promoting Urdu?

It seems  like  nothing  but  a pathetic attempt to divide the  country  on  the basis  of language. 

It  happened  in Pakistan when they tried  to make everyone  speak in Urdu. But a large  chunk of the population chose  to speak Bangla .Rather than bow to  the uniform code of language  they fought for their freedom. And Bangladesh was born.If you  try to restrict Urdu to the Muslim community you are playing  the worst  kind of divisive politics.

Coming back to  Javed Akhtar, who  better  qualified than he  to promote  the Urdu language? He is secular in the  truest sense  of the word. He can write songs in  virile  Urdu as well in  fluent Hindi. This  is  the same poet par excellence who  wrote the  Holi song  Radha kaise na jale in  pur Braj bhasha and  the  Urdu ghazal  Shahr Ke Dukan-Daro Karobar-E-Ulfat Men Suud Kya Ziyan Kya Hai Tum Na Jaan Paoge without ever  letting the language come  in  the way of his thought  process.

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