Indian writer, poet and songwriter Javed Akhtar, who has been making headlines lately for his bold and controversial statement about Pakistan, has now decided to declare that the Urdu language is an Indian or "Hindustani" language.
According to Indian media, Akhtar and his wife Shabana Azmi attended an event to launch Urdu poetry album, titled 'Shayarana - Sartaj', where they spoke about the importance of the language.
During the ceremony, Akhtar said that Urdu does not belong to Pakistan or Egypt but to India. "This language did not come from outside, it is our own language, it is not spoken outside Hindustan," he said.
Akhtar added that Pakistan itself came into existence after partition from India, and that earlier it was only a part of India, so the Urdu language "wasn't spoken outside Hindustan".
The Indian songwriter said that Urdu is the local language of united India, but that Punjab played an important role in promoting and popularising it. "It is not correct to consider Urdu a Pakistani language," he reiterated.
“Punjab has a big contribution towards Urdu and it is the language of India! But why did you leave this language? Because of Partition? Because of Pakistan? Urdu should be given attention,” he said.
Commenting on Indians who believe Urdu is a language of Pakistan, he asked that if Pakistan declared all of Kashmir as a part of it, would they accept it? "Urdu language should be given importance, the new generation of India has forgotten the Urdu language. Today more focus is on English. We must speak in Hindi because it's our national language," he said.
Akhtar further said that it is wrong to link languages with religion as language is not related to religion but to regions. "Therefore, Urdu is not the language of any religion but of India," he explained.
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