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Retro songs are heritage, need to preserve them: Javed Akhtar

PTI | Mumbai |

Veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar said he is completely against the trend of remixing old songs which according to him are “cultural heritage”.

Akhtar, who launched his book Talking Films: Conversations on Hindi Cinema on Friday evening, was asked about the current trend of remixing songs and whether it leads to old ones losing their essence.

“I quite agree. I don’t know why people remix old songs.

They should have enough confidence that they will give super- hit songs. Why should they borrow? What’s the need? Besides that, these songs by Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar… these are our cultural heritage,” he said.

“We need to preserve them. There are certain things that they should be respected the way they are. It’s rubbish (remixing old songs). It’s not acceptable,” he added.

The 72-year-old lyricist was speaking at the eighth edition of ‘Tata Literature Live!’ here.

At the event, Akhtar also opened up about his iconic movies like Deewar and Trishul, co-written by Salim Khan, and how they were “blissfully unaware” while writing any “socio-political and socio-economical relevance” that people claim the movies have.

“I get asked about ‘Deewar’, ‘Trishul’, particularly ‘Deewar’, that angry-young man character, it’s socio-political and socio-economical relevance. But honestly we were blissfully unaware. A lot has been written about it, not only in India but also internationally. But we didn’t know anything. We just thought it is an interesting character and an interesting story.”

The character of angry young man named Vijay in Deewar essayed by megastar Amitabh Bachchan is still remembered by the audience.

The ‘angry young man’ persona created in the mid 70s is largely hailed as a character mirroring what the nation was going through during that time. But Akhtar insists, they didn’t write it to “manipulate”.

“I am very happy we didn’t know that because the moment a writer knows that this character is relevant, that it’s the representation of the collective conscience of the society, it means he/she is surgical,” he said.

“It means he/she is keeping him/herself on a pedestal, being holier than thou and creating things for the ordinary mortals. We were living in the same society, breathing the same air and we were lucky that our sensibilities and likes-dislikes were in sync with that of the society’s. Good that we were innocent. If you are already aware, then that’s craft, that’s manipulation,” he added.

Deewar and Trishul both helmed by noted filmmaker late Yash Chopra were successful at the box office.