Veteran poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar attended the Deepotsav program organised by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader and politician Raj Thackeray on Tuesday in Mumbai. He was accompanied by Salim Khan. During the event, Javed spoke about freedom of expression citing an example from the 1975 film Sholay.
He recalled a scene in the celluloid which involved Dharmendra standing behind a Lord Shiva idol in the temple and impersonating the deity as Hema Malini prays for a good husband. Dharmendra hints Hema to marry his character Veeru, who is eventually exposed by his friend Jai (Amitabh Bachchan).
While it was created to be funny, Javed asserted that if the film was made today the dialogues would’ve caused an uproar. According to him, the societal changes have led to increased sensitivity, making them reconsider such scenes due to the risk of offending anyone.
Sholay is a milestone in Indian cinema and has left a lasting impact on the industry. It remains a beloved and influential film, celebrated for its contributions to Indian filmmaking. Directed by Ramesh Sippy, it features an ensemble cast of iconic actors, including Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan, and Amjad Khan. The story revolves around two criminals, Veeru (Dharmendra) and Jai (Amitabh Bachchan), hired by a retired police officer (Sanjeev Kumar) to capture the ruthless dacoit Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan).
Sholay is known for its memorable characters, dialogues, and songs composed by RD Burman. Gabbar Singh, the antagonist, became one of the most iconic villains in Indian cinema. The film's dialogues, especially those delivered by Gabbar Singh such as “Kitne aadmi the”, are often quoted in popular culture. Written by Salim–Javed (Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar), Sholay was not an immediate success upon its release but gained immense popularity over time, eventually becoming a cultural phenomenon.