Celebrating the spirit, versatility and heritage of Urdu language

The fourth edition of popular literary and cultural festival Jashn-e-Rekhta was thrown open by classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj and actor Waheeda Rehman at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium here on Friday.

In our times nearly 80 pc people in film industry used to write in Urdu, including Manoj Kumar, Dharmendra, Dev Anand etc. however partition had created misconceptions about Urdu belonging to a particular religion. Though during 1950 to 60 mushairas were held in which noted poets used to participate however it was gradually discontinued but I hope Sanjeev Saraf will resume the tradition. Noted actor of film industry Waheeda Rahman expressed these views while addressing the inaugural session of the 3-day event of Jashn-e-Rekhta. She said there are several people today who love Urdu, they know how to read and write Urdu. “I am overwhelmed to see the large crowds that have gathered here for the sheer love of the language. This language has admirers all across the world,” said Ms Rahman.

Urdu is actually the language of all. She said when she went to Bangalore, the then chief minister of Karnataka, Ramakrishna Hegde told her that when he was in jail he got the opportunity to learn Urdu. When she went to Japan Japanese said ‘Aadaab’ to her and talked in Urdu fluently. He told her that he was a professor of Urdu and teaches 8 students who are learning Urdu.

Classic icon Pandit Jasraj said Urdu is the language of music, poetry and love. Urdu is dying everywhere except in film industry where it is kept alive.

Rekhta Foundation founder Sanjeev Saraf revealed that Rekhta was founded on January 13, 2013, now lakhs and crores of people from across the globe have joined the foundation. He said Urdu is not just a language but a tradition. “Urdu is not a foreign language. It opened its eyes in this country and was brought up here. I don’t see anybody as a guest or host here, but as a lover and admirer of the delicate beauty of this language. Urdu is a way of life.”

Shahwar Ali said, “Urdu is a language with all the sweetness. It was because of Urdu language that I got my first break in Bollywood.”

Over 100 distinguished writers, poets, artists, littérateurs, singers and acclaimed personalities will gather at the event over the next two days to grace the event, which ends on Sunday.

Distinguished personalities like Shabana Azmi, Ira Bhaskar and Muzaffar Ali will be part of an open discussion on ‘Depiction of Urdu Culture in Muslim Social Films’. The festival will also witness the poetic genius of Javed Akhtar in his session ‘Kuch Ishq Kiya Kuch Kaam Kiya’, a panel discussion on depiction of Muslim culture in Indian cinema.