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Akhtar in 2010
|Nominated member to Rajya Sabha|
22 March 2010 – 21 March 2016
|Born||17 January 1945|
Gwalior, Gwalior State, British India
(m. 1972; div. 1985)
|Mother||Safiya Siraj-ul Haq|
|Father||Jan Nisar Akhtar|
|Education||Colvin Taluqdars' College, Lucknow|
Javed Akhtar (born 17 January 1945) is an Indian political activist, poet, lyricist and screenwriter, originally from Gwalior area. He is a recipient of the Padma Shri (1999), Padma Bhushan (2007), the Sahitya Akademi Award as well as five National Film Awards. In early part of his career he was a screenplay writer, creating movies like Deewar, Zanjeer and Sholay. Later he left screenplay writing and became a lyricist and social-political activist . He also remained member of Rajya Sabha. In 2020 he received the Richard Dawkins Award for his contribution to secularism, free thinking, for critical thinking, holding religious dogma up to scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values. Javed Akhtar was chosen as a recipient for the Richard Dawkins Award for being "the bright light for reason, freethought, and atheism in a dark time".
Javed Akhtar was born in 1945 in Gwalior. His father Jan Nisar Akhtar was a Bollywood film songwriter and Urdu poet. His grandfather Muztar Khairabadi was a poet as was his grandfather's elder brother, Bismil Khairabadi, while his great great grandfather, Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi, was a scholar of Islamic studies and theology and played an important role in the First Independence Movement of India in 1857. Javed Akhtar's original name was Jadoo, taken from a line in a poem written by his father: "Lamha, lamha kisi jadoo ka fasana hoga". He was given the official name of Javed since it was the closest to the word jadoo. He spent most of his childhood and was schooled in Lucknow. He graduated from Saifiya College in Bhopal.
Akhtar was greatly inspired by Pakistani author Ibn-e-Safi's Urdu novels, which he grew up reading as a child. Akhtar was particularly influenced by the Jasoosi Dunya and Imran series of detective novels, such as The House of Fear (1955). He was influenced by their fast action, tight plots, economies of expression, fascinating characters with catchy memorable names, and speaking styles. Two of the earliest films he remembered watching both starred Dilip Kumar: Shaheed Latif's Arzoo (1950) and Mehboob Khan's Aan (1952). Other films that influenced him as a child include Bimal Roy's Do Bigha Zameen (1953), Satyen Bose's Jagriti (1954), Shree 420 (1955) directed by Raj Kapoor and written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, Munimji (1955) directed by Subodh Mukherjee and written by Nasir Hussain, and Mehboob Khan's Mother India (1957).
Initially, in the 1970s, there was no concept of having the same writer for the screenplay, story and dialogue, nor were the writers given any credits in the titles. Rajesh Khanna is credited with giving Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar their first chance to become screenplay writers by offering them work in Haathi Mere Saathi. Javed Akhtar stated in an interview that "One day, he went to Salimsaab and said that Mr. Devar had given him a huge signing amount with which he could complete the payment for his bungalow, Aashirwad. But the film was a remake and the script of the original was far from being satisfactory. He told us that if we could set right the script, he would make sure we got both money and credit."
Their first big success was the script for Andaz, followed by Adhikar (1971), Haathi Mere Saathi and Seeta Aur Geeta (1972). They also had hits with Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973), Zanjeer (1973), Haath Ki Safai (1974), Deewaar (1975), Sholay (1975), Chacha Bhatija (1977), Don (1978), Trishul (1978), Dostana (1980), Kranti (1981), Zamana (1985) and Mr. India (1987). They have worked together in 24 films including two Kannada films – Premada Kanike and Raja Nanna Raja. Of the 24 films they wrote, 20 were hits. The scripts they wrote, but which were not successful at box office include Aakhri Dao (1975), Immaan Dharam (1977), Kaala Patthar (1979) and Shaan (1980). Though they split in 1982, due to ego issues, some of the scripts they wrote were made into hit films later, such as Zamana and Mr. India. Salim-Javed, many a time described as "the most successful scriptwriters of all-time", are also noted to be the first scriptwriters in Indian cinema to achieve star status.
—Akhtar talking about his religious beliefs.
Akhtar was married to Honey Irani, with whom he had two children, Farhan Akhtar, a film actor, producer, director and Zoya Akhtar, a film writer, director and producer. The father-and-son duo have worked together in films such as Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya, Rock On!! and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara with Zoya. Farhan was married to Adhuna Akhtar, a hair stylist.
Javed married Shabana Azmi, the daughter of Urdu poet, Kaifi Azmi and later divorced Irani. In February 2019, Akhtar canceled his visit to attend an event in Karachi organized by the Karachi Arts Council due to the Pulwama attack.
Awards and nominations
Javed was awarded the civilian honour of Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1999, followed by the Padma Bhushan in 2007. In 2013, he received the Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu, India's second highest literary honour, for his poetry collection Lava. In 2019, he was conferred with an honorary doctorate (Doctor of Letters) by the Jamia Hamdard University. In 2020 he was awarded the Richard Dawkins Award for being a "powerful force for secularism, reason, and human rights, challenging superstition and intolerance through his work in poetry, screenwriting, and political activism".
- Teamed as Salim-Javed
- As Javed Akhtar
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- "Javed Akhtar Awards & Nominations List - Filmibeat". FilmiBeat. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- For example, campagning for Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate in 2019 Indian general election: https://www.indiatoday.in/elections/lok-sabha-2019/story/taare-zameen-par-will-b-town-biggies-help-kanhaiya-kumar-win-begusarai-1512586-2019-04-29
- President appoints 5 new members to Rajya Sabha
- "Javed Akhtar Wins Richard Dawkins Award".
- Fidalgo, Paul (2020). "Richard Dawkins award goes to writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar". Skeptical Inquirer. 45 (5): 6.
- Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen, ed. (10 July 2014). Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. Routledge. p. 204. ISBN 978-1-135-94318-9.
- "On Father's Day, Javed Akhtar recalls the man who taught him poetry". The Hindu. 16 June 2014.
- Chopra, Anupama (2000). Sholay: The Making of a Classic. Penguin Books India. p. 16. ISBN 0-14-02997-0X.
- David John Matthews, ed. (2001). Quiver: Poems and Ghazals. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-81-7223-437-9.
- Chaudhuri, Diptakirti (2015). Written by Salim-Javed: The Story of Hindi Cinema's Greatest Screenwriters. Penguin Books. pp. 26–27. ISBN 9789352140084.
- "More facts about Rajesh Khanna - Times of India".
- Hungama, Bollywood. "The Magic of Haathi Mere Saathi - Latest Movie Features - Bollywood Hungama".
- Sholay, through the eyes of Salim Khan, , Rediff.com
- Ramesh Dawar (2003), Encyclopaedia of Hindi cinema, Encyclopædia Britannica (India) Pvt. Ltd.
- "Javed Akhtar, Dua nominated to Rajya Sabha – India – DNA". Dnaindia.com. 17 November 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Eye on England". Telegraphindia.com. 15 July 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
- https://www.instagram.com/tv/CBQCnw3hOTj/?igshid=7qxdxncimfjq. Missing or empty
- "10 Self-Proclaimed Celebrity Atheists | Entertainment | iDiva.com | Page 4". iDiva.com. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
- "Farhan Akhtar". IMDb. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
- "Zoya Akhtar". IMDb. Retrieved 29 August 2020.
- "Transcript of the Javed Akhtar Chat". rediff.com. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Honey Irani on Divorce, Survival & Shabana Azmi". iDiva.com. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
- "Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi cancel Pakistan visit".
- "Poets dominate Sahitya Akademi Awards 2013" Archived 19 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Sahitya Akademi. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- "Javed Akhtar Conferred With Honorary Doctorate by Jamia Hamdard University". News18 India. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
- "Nominations - Mirchi Music Award Hindi 2011". 30 January 2013. Archived from the original on 30 January 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Winners - Mirchi Music Awards 2011".
- "Winners - Mirchi Music Award Hindi 2012". www.radiomirchi.com. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- "Winners - Mirchi Music Awards 2014". MMAMirchiMusicAwards. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- "MMA Mirchi Music Awards". MMAMirchiMusicAwards. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
- Aḵẖtar, Jāvīd; Kabir, Nasreen Munni (2002). Talking Films: Conversations on Hindi Cinema with Javed Akhtar. Oxford University Press. p. 49. ISBN 9780195664621.
JA: I write dialogue in Urdu, but the action and descriptions are in English. Then an assistant transcribes the Urdu dialogue into Devnagari because most people read Hindi. But I write in Urdu.
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