Prominent poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar recently appeared at Raj Thackeray’s Deepotsav event, where he reflected on the cultural significance of Lord Rama and Sita in India. Despite his atheism, Akhtar stressed their symbolic importance to the nation and attended the event to honor this cultural legacy.
During his speech, Javed Akhtar encouraged the audience to chant ‘Jai Siya Ram,’ emphasizing its significance as a unifying symbol, drawing from childhood memories in Lucknow where this greeting embodied unity.
Akhtar emphasized the inseparable nature of Sita and Rama, regarding the term ‘Siya Ram’ as a representation of unity and love. He referenced the characters and cautioned against viewing them separately, citing Ravana as the one who did so differently.
Touching on the shrinking space for expression, Akhtar referenced a scene from ‘Sholay’ and suggested that it might face resistance today. He praised the historically tolerant nature of Hindu people, noting the inherent greatness in their hearts and warning against losing that quality.
Delving into the current democratic state in India, Akhtar underlined the inclusive spirit embedded in Hindu culture, advocating against divisive ideologies. He highlighted the importance of embracing inclusive values that have long been integral to India’s cultural identity, promoting a democratic attitude and discouraging narrow-minded perspectives.
In his words, “This culture, this civilization, is Hindu. It has taught us democratic principles, which is why our country thrives in democracy. Believing we are right, and others are wrong isn’t a Hindu principle. Whoever taught you that is mistaken.”