Indian children disconnected from cultural roots: Javed Akhtar

Children in India are not rooted in their culture owing to lack of education in their mother tongue, leading Indian lyricist Javed Akhtar has said.

"English is getting its importance in teaching in India in this globalised world but that is not the case with Indian languages including Hindi and Urdu. This has impacted the children who are not rooted in their culture," Akhtar said while launching his book of poems, 'Lava', here last evening.

Answering a question, the lyricist said, "Hindi and Urdu are like twins. They can not survive without each other."

Replying to a question on the way India is developing, Akhtar said, "I am very very optimistic about the future of India. As far as our systems are concerned, we are moving in the right direction.

"We have an impeccable Constitution, independent judiciary and independent media. No doubt, there are delays in courts but ultimately right verdicts come."

Answering a question on the position of women in India, Akhtar's wife Shabana Azmi said, "India is a country that lives in several centuries. So is the position of women.

"We have a woman as President, a woman as Speaker, a woman as leader of the opposition and a woman as leader of the leading party and several women Chief Ministers. Inspite of all these, there are cases of female infanticide.

"Government is taking steps to prevent such things. I am optimistic about that. India today is becoming a global power but certain central challenges are there... What is needed is the empowerment of the poorest of the poor."

Akhtar brought out his first collection 'Tarkash' (Quiver) in 1995, which established him as the writer of the nazm. With his second volume, 'Lava', launched now, he has dabbled in both the ghazal and the nazm.

According to critics, the ghazals contained in Lava show Akhtar's mastery over the genre. Like the earth spews molten rock from deep within its bosom in the form of lava, Akhtar's ghazals emerge from some deep crevice within his soul. 

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