Everything is gaining pace in today’s world including music. From a rapid turn in the beats to lyrics, music today, has taken the music industry by storm which is evident from the songs and albums being released. Whether Bollywood or regional cinema, film industry as a whole isn’t devoid of this change. The most affected are the lyrics.
To delve deeper and to gain insight into the cause of this change, Javed Akhtar, who has witnessed and withheld the evolution and the highs and lows of the Hindi film and music industry, shared his experience and thoughts on the ever-changing Hindi music industry, when he was recently in the Capital for an event.
How do you deem the change in terms of language and lyrics that has betided in the music industry?
Language and vocabulary is gradually shrinking in the society. Literature is no longer on the list of priorities and the upcoming generations are not being exposed to literature and good poetry. We have lost our proverbs, idioms which were frequently used by our generation. With the onset of globalisation and industrialisation, English has become more important, although I’m not denying the importance of English in the present times. The problem is that we are learning this language at the cost of our own languages. For instance how many teenagers or kids have seen books of poetry at their homes or how many parents read to their kids or encourage healthy reading habits… So until and unless the young generation is exposed to good poetry and language or they are made to realise the importance of learning literature, we cannot expect things to change.
How do you think we can get past this?
Well it’s not that complicated as it seems. There a lot of things which the present generation has no idea about such as traditions and forms of literature and the essence of languages and there are various technological aspects of music and beats which our generation is clueless about. So if different generations exchange their respective knowledge on the basis of mutual understanding then things are sure to get better in the future.
You recently were in the Capital for an event which was held to promote Urdu as a language. Do you think such events are helpful in restoring the diminished entity of our perennial form of languages?
Of course they are! I do feel that such events are helpful and they should be held more often as one thing that I generally notice in these events is that the majority of audience is comprised of the youngsters. Basically, what I feel is that the youth today is quite inquisitive and they do want to know about traditions and get involved without any support. But only if they are supported and provided a bit of extra help and access to relevant information, they can definitely bring about change and help in restoring the diminished entity of traditions and languages.
Javed Akhtar- as a scriptwriter or a lyricist, which one is your favourite?
Well to answer your question, I’d like to say that when one starts to think in that direction where one is only concerned about his/ her fame and the work he does only becomes a subject to recognition, I feel that, that stage is the beginning of insanity for that person. And Javed is best as a scriptwriter or as a lyricist, according to me, shouldn’t be important and what should be is to fair well, fulfill the responsibilities and act as per the demands of the work that’s at hand, rest is unimportant and immaterial. So basically think about your work and not about yourself!
Writing in Hindi or Urdu, which one is preferable to you?
I mostly write in Urdu but when the question arises as to what’s more preferable- writing in Hindi or Urdu, I don’t think it’s a matter of preference as both languages carry their essence, which in itself is important.