For several Indians, he is the benchmark for literary success. Meet him in flesh and blood today.
Manthan, a forum for public discourse, is organising a dialogue with Javed Akhtar, on 11th March, at the Secunderabad Club. Akhtar will be reciting some of his poems and will also answer queries posed by the audience.
Javed Akhtar is the son of a well-known Urdu poet and film lyricist Jan Nisar Akhtar, and Safia Akhtar, a teacher and writer. Akhtar is a script writer, lyricist and poet. Along with his ex-partner Salim, he scripted super hits like Zanjeer, Deewar, Sholay, Haathi Mere Saathi, Seeta Aur Geeta, Don and Trishul. Salim-Javed as a writer-duo gave to Indian Cinema the memorable persona of the Angry Young Man.
After the split from his partner Salim in 1981, he has written a list of successful films, like Sagar, Mr. India, Betaab, Arjun and Lakshya. He was awarded the National Award for the Best Lyricist, five times; the Filmfare Award for Best Script, seven times; the Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist, seven times; the Screen Award for Best Lyricist, four times; the Zee Award for Best Lyricist, five times; the IIFA Award for Best Lyricist, three times, and the Sansui Viewers Choice Award, four times.
He was also the recipient of the Padmasri in 1999, the Avadh Ratan from the Government of Uttar Pradesh in 2000, the National Integration Award from the All-India Anti-Terrorist Association in 2001, the National Integration Award from the Mewar Foundation in 2001, and the Nagrik Samman by the Mayor of Bhopal in 2002, amongst others.
Javed Akhtar started writing Urdu poetry in 1980. His first collection of nazms and ghazals entitled Tarkash had a very successful release in 1995. The collection is already in its ninth edition in Hindi, and fifth edition in Urdu. It has received rave reviews both as a book and as India's first audio book (available on cassettes and CD) brought out by Plus Music. The audio book has sold more than a hundred thousand copies.
Akhtar has written a large number of poems against communalism and social injustice, and for national integration and women's rights. The Ministry of Human Resource Development has declared his song beckoning the misguided youth to come forward and build the country, the National Anthem for Youth in 1995. On the initiative of President Abdul Kalam, Javed Akhtar has written five poems on the Indian flag. Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Ustad Zakir Hussain, L Subramaniam and E Srinivas have interpreted these musically.
Two books, Talking Films and Talking Songs, published by Oxford University Press, have featured Javed Akhtar in conversation with Nasreen Munni Kabir, a London-based journalist. These have been hailed by film critics as the most definitive works on Indian Cinema. Talking Songs also carries translations of 60 of Javed Akhtar’s songs.
Javed Akhtar is an avid reader with a keen interest in politics. His poetry reflects both his political awareness and his literary concerns. He is married to Shabana Azmi, one of India's most respected actresses, a social activist and an ex-Member of Parliament.
Manthan is a forum to promote learning, debate and public discussion in all spheres of knowledge and in matters of public concern. The goal is to encourage learning and public discourse on a variety of issues. Manthan conducts periodic meetings for members, in which highly knowledgeable people in various fields are invited to speak and have a dialogue with the audience. Membership to Manthan is free. For more details, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manthan is also supported online by an Internet-based forum to support the discussions and debates amongst members. Interested speakers can join the discussion forums at http://in.groups.yahoo.com/group/manthanhyd
The interactive session is open to all. For further details, please contact M R Vikram at 2781-3222 or Ajay Gandhi at 6666-9260.