Writers should be able to write what they want: Javed Akhtar

Jaipur: Lyricist and Urdu poet Javed Akhtar today said writers should have the freedom to write about anything they want without fear of being judged.

“If you feel like saying something, then you must say it. Thinking that certain things are correct and others are wrong is not right. Who is anybody to create a poster about what has to be written? A writer should write what he wants to write,” Akhtar said.

The lyricist was in conversation at a session titled “The Poetic Genealogy” at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival here.

The 71-year-old writer who has penned numerous film scripts like “Lakshya” and “Mr India” among others commended his two children – filmmaker Zoya and actor Farhan, for their poetic skills.

“Both my children Zoya and Farhan write poetry in English. They are good poets. I don’t know why they are too shy to get it published,” he said.

The poet spoke against “senseless” lyrics stating that film songs should have some aesthetics and sensibility.

“You can write light hearted songs, but there should be sense in them. They don’t have to be poetic, but they can be written with sensibility and aesthetics. They should not be senseless,” he said.

Akhtar, the son of noted Urdu poet Jan Nisar Akhtar, who was part of the Progressive Writer’s movement said the only tradition in his family was “not to follow any traditions.”

“My father’s poetry was very different from what I write or from what his father wrote. The only similarity between our poetry is that is the use of Awadhi. Traditionally what the Lucknow poets wrote was very transparent and clean,” he said.

During the session Akhtar also spoke at length about his uncle Majaz, who was one of the pioneers of the progressive writers’ movement, writing in Urdu.