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Political parties aren't bigger than the nation: Javed Akhtar on nationalism


Akhtar stressed on the increasing intolerance in the right wing political parties and also observed that Muslims are considered non-Indians.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

IANS

Veteran writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar, an active social commentator, on Saturday, 11 November, said those who call others 'anti-national' need to digest the fact that they and their political parties are not bigger than the nation itself, and rued that Muslims are 'considered non-Indian'.

At the Sahitya Aaj Tak conclave in New Delhi, Akhtar spoke on anti-nationalism as he feels nationalism is being "misinterpreted a lot".

"They (individuals) have started considering themselves as the nation. If you oppose them, you become anti-national. These politicians are like the harvesting crop. They change when the crop changes. Nation is larger than any political party. Any politician who thinks that he or she is the nation, he/she is wrong," he said.

According to Akhtar, in the past and even in present, a secular Muslim belongs nowhere.

"This is a very sorry state of affairs that any Muslim is considered non-Indian. Tipu Sultan is not a Hindustani... and if I do not agree to this mentality, then I become anti-national? If this is the case, then fine I am anti-national," he said.

Citing Jalaluddin Muhammed Akbar as an example, he pointed out how the Mughal emperor is called "an outsider by a large number of individuals".

He said Akbar, the third Mughal emperor who reigned from 1556 to 1605, was a Hindustani as he was born in India and even died contributing to the wealth of Hindustan.

"In this country, a number of big personalities were born, and with grave confidence, I can say that the list would be incomplete without the mention of Akbar. That man was a huge personality with a vision nobody can match. About 400 years back when Europe had not heard the word secularism, protestants and Roman Catholics were burning each other on stakes, here a man in Hindustan was not only secular, but also understood the philosophy and theory of secularism, and worked on it," he elaborated.

"If you read on him and his documented thoughts, then these people (who call him non-Hindustani) are uneducated and know nothing. If you read history and details, be proud of the fact that you were born in a country where Akbar was born," he added.

Akhtar also also pointed out how Barack Obama, who has Kenyan and American genes, and who "belongs to a colour different from the majority in America, was elected as the President of the US".

"The difference between foreigners and Indians is that foreigners took the wealth from India to London, but Mughals never did," he said, and added: "During their (Mughal rulers) time, there were no civil wars in India, and at that time, Hindustan progressed. Hindustan was the richest country in the world under the Mughal regime," Akhtar said, noting the contribution of the Mughal to the country.