Urdu language anti-religion, anti-puritan: Javed Akhtar

“Islamic culture is a misnomer. Religions don't have a <g data-gr-id="33">culture</g> but societies have a culture. There is a central Asian culture, an Iranian, a Turkish culture, an Egyptian, an Indian culture... there can by synthesis of cultures like we have in India,” <g data-gr-id="26">Akthar</g> said at a function here late last evening.

“Cultures come from different regions, not religions. So I believe there is nothing like an ‘Islamic Culture’, had it been the case it then Saudi Arab would have it the most, <g data-gr-id="35">which by the way</g> is still looking for a culture,” Akthar said.

The poet-lyricist was speaking at a recital session at the India Islamic Cultural Centre here organised by HarperCollins from the book “In Other Words”, a translation of his own poetic works in English by Ali Hussain Mir.

“Urdu has no connection with any religion. I can say this with great pride that generally in literature when poems are written, say in Sanskrit, English, Greek or Latin, it is for the deities it for the Gods and then transcends to other topics.

“Urdu is one exception in the world that from the very beginning is anti-religion. It was anti-fundamentalist and anti-puritan,” Akhtar said.

Interacting with the audience about the future of Urdu, the Sahitya Akademi winning-scholar expressed concern over the fate of other indigenous languages too, which he said, were not merely a means for communication but also carriers of culture and tradition. 

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