Once again, people on Twitter talk about what the Indian playwright Javed Akhtar said recently. The famous poet gave a speech at the ABP India Summit 2023 earlier this week, where he addressed Pakistan and his contentious remarks made during the 7th Faiz Festival in Lahore last month.
Author and broadcaster Chetan Bhagat seized the opportunity to ask Javed Akhtar a question on Pakistan’s economy and the effects of rising inflation there. The writer of Khel remarked that this was because Pakistan has “certain constraints” that obscure the existence of poverty.
“Yes. The reality is that India’s poor live in close proximity to the country’s many millionaires. Still, I get the impression that Pakistan’s poverty-stricken people. ” What Javed Akhtar had to say was “Sincerely, I cannot say. The absence of these people from the streets makes one think of Bombay. Almost three times I’ve been to Pakistan, and each time I’m amazed by how well the country conceals its slums.
Even street people like homeless individuals. It’s obvious that there are impoverished people there; therefore, I’m sure a mechanism has been put in place to help them.”
As part of the conversation, Javed Akhtar brought up the 7th Faiz Festival and the comment he made there that many Pakistanis, including famous people, found offensive. “The Q&A was going swimmingly, with people asking polite, kind questions until someone brought up how Indians view all Pakistanis as terrorists and treat them poorly.
After that, he offered his opinion on how he doesn’t “believe Pakistanis are terrorists,” but as a Mumbai native. He “did feel strongly about the occurrence” and thought there was no harm in sharing his feelings.
Javed Akhtar went on to describe the fallout from his statement during the 7th Faiz Festival. As he put it, “It blew up to such proportions that I felt ashamed of myself. I felt like I’d won World War III when I finally returned to India from Pakistan. In light of the responses in the media, I stopped answering my phone. What exactly was incorrect about what I said? Do I regret not keeping my mouth shut?”
Before we parted ways, the Silsila lyricist emphasized that it was unfair to generalize Pakistanis’ behavior. “Unfortunately, it’s impossible to separate the policies of a country from our perception of its people. The desire of a large number of Pakistanis to maintain cordial ties with India is understandable. It’s not fair to view everyone through the same lens, given that I experienced such an incredibly warm welcome from many young people and students in Pakistan.”