Javed Akhtar broods over decline of language in Indian cinema
By Hindustan Times
For Javed Akhtar, who has penned scripts and lyrics for numerous Bollywood films, cinema and society are not watertight compartments but representations of two sides of the same coin. Akhtar, who is also one of the country's leading urdu poets used a session at the Jaipur Literature
Festival to express his dismay at the decline of language and vocabulary in society and thus in cinema too.
"Language is shrinking in society and for this perhaps my generation is responsible as we didn't care enough about it. Young people now have smaller vocabulary compared to their elders," he said.
"When language in society is shrinking then obviously it will reflect in cinema as well," he said quoting an old film song to make a case in point about decline of language and etiquette in cinema.
"Khayalo main kisi ke aaya nahi karte kisi ko khwabo main aake yun tadpaya nahi kerte. You wont find this 'tamiz' in today's songs. Today it will be 'Baby Baby Aaja Aaja' types. It is not just about language but also about etiquettes," said Akhtar.
The 68-year-old writer and poet in the session "Bollywood and National Narrative" elaborated on the journey of films, in India, which is celebrating one hundred years of cinema this year.
"If you see the profile of villains in Indian movies over the years you can easily make out the profile of our country over the years. In the 40s we had the zamindar (as the villan), in 60s when we were dealing with the ideas of socialism we had the industry owners as the villains. Then you had the urban mafia," said Akhtar.
"Then we had politicians as villains and after that there was a time when we had the Pakistanis as villains and then we got tired of all this. Now, we don't have any villain because whatever we looked for in the villain has become our ideal," said the writer.
The lyricist pointed out that movies were reflection of the socio-political situation of its time.
"We are celebrating hundred years of cinema and I must say we have come a long way but we still have to go a long way. If we watch cinema of the last many years it tells us about the society of its time," said Akhtar.
The national award winning writer addressed a session on "Bollywood and National Narrative" at the event.
"The fact is cinema and society is same. Cinema is the manifestation of society. It is not a watertight relationship."
He also expressed dismay that nature has gone out of film songs. "Old romantic songs were beautiful because of involvement of nature. You saw a man and woman and universe and that was big romance. But now with urbanisation nature is missing from everywhere," he said.