Veteran poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar on Thursday attended the Deepotsav program organized by Raj Thackeray. During the event, Akhtar said that Lord Rama and Sita are not only Hindu gods and goddesses but the cultural heritage of India.
He said that although he is an atheist, he considers Ram and Sita to be the wealth of this country. And that’s why he attended this event. He added that Ramayan is our cultural heritage and it is the subject of your interest.
Akhtar further said that he is proud to have been born in the land of Ram and Sita and when we talk about Maryada Purushottam, it is Ram and Sita that come to mind.
During his speech, Akhtar also asked people to chant ‘Jai Siya Ram‘ slogans. He recalled his childhood days in Lucknow and said that as a child, he used to see people who were rich and they used to say good morning. But a common man passing by on the road used to greet people with ‘Jai Siya Ram.’
“Therefore, it is a sin to think of Sita and Rama separately. The word Siya Ram is a symbol of love and unity. Siya and Ram were done by only one. His name was Ravana. So the one who does differently will be Ravana. So you chant Jai Siya Ram three times with me. Say Jai Siya Ram from today,” he said.

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Akhtar also stressed on how freedom of expression has diminished. He said that if he had written Sholay today, the scene in which Hema Malini goes to the temple with Dharmendra standing behind, he and Salim Khan would not have written that scene today. Because in today’s society, if someone feels bad about this, you will understand that ignorance has increased.

He further said that in the past there were some people who were always intolerant. But Hindus were not like that. “The special thing about Hindus is that there was always a greatness in their hearts. But if you finish it, you become like others. We have learned the way you have lived. It won’t work if you’re going to leave that quality,” he added.
Talking about how India has preserved democracy at present, Akhtar said, “Even if you don’t believe in anyone, you are a Hindu, that is Hindu culture. It has given us the attitude of democracy. On the contrary, it is wrong to think that I am right and everyone else is wrong. Then what you have been taught is wrong.”

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