The launch of the coffee table book, Jadunama, by author Arvind Mandloi, was a star-studded event. The book is written on veteran lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar and it was unveiled by veteran lyricist-poet Gulzar. The book is a compilation of Akhtar’s public speeches, interviews, and quotes.
Speaking on the sidelines of the launch, Akhtar answered media queries about Shah Rukh Khan’s film Pathaan, which is mired in controversy. “It’s not for you and me to decide what is wrong or right. We have an agency and a department where a cross-section of people, not only from the government (CBFC), watch the film. The department decides what is not okay and what will pass. We should have trust in their decision on par with the certification given. If everybody becomes a censor board then what is the use of the certification given by the central government?” Akhtar said.
Akhtar is known for speaking his mind without mincing words and has an excellent sense of humour. Ask him how he maintains humour in real life, pat came the reply, “Sense of humour is like a shock absorber in a car. Such humour is not only needed but is also useful during bad times... We face ups and downs in our life and, during such times, humour acts as a spring which slowly brings our life back on track.”
Moving away from controversies, Akhtar also spoke about his expectations from the national budget that will be announced soon. “The government should provide electricity to the cinema houses in the industrial range. The government should give incentives so that there are more theatres... If these theatres are made with conducive rates, making loans and lands easily available, the Indian film industry in the domestic market can become 10 times bigger,” he said.
On a parting note, Akhtar spoke about the work that the younger generation is doing today. Does he feel the younger generation can compete with him? “The youth is not only giving me a competition but is much ahead of me. This generation is doing so well and I am learning from them. There are so many good films and OTT series being written,” Akhtar concluded.
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