'Kaifi Azmi had no divide between life and art' | art and culture | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Aug 24, 2017-Thursday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

'Kaifi Azmi had no divide between life and art'

On the 90th birth anniversary of legendary poet and reformer Kaifi Azmi,who also spearheaded the country's 'New Cinema' movement, veteran lyricist Javed Akthar says for the late activist the divide between life and art had always been blurred.

art and culture Updated: Jan 15, 2009 18:23 IST

On the 90th birth anniversary of legendary poet and reformer Kaifi Azmi,who also spearheaded the country's 'New Cinema' movement, veteran lyricist Javed Akthar says for the late activist the divide between life and art had always been blurred.

"It often happens that a poet leads a life which contradicts his poetry but Kaifi was not one of them, he maintained the same ideal that he expressed in his works. When he spoke about equality he was not merely paying lip service, he went and worked in villages and amongst factory workers," Akthar told PTI.

Son of an affluent zamindar in Azamgarh's Meejwan village, Kaifi rebelled against the hierarchal and inequal social system he grew up in and his poetry highlighted the exploitation of the masses and the need for a new and just social order.

"He was a poet, an activist, a lyricist, a reformer, every thing rolled into one," Akhtar described Azmi who had been a prominent member of the 'New Cinema' movement in the country during the 60's and 70's along with other stalwarts like Bimal Roy, Sahir Ludhianvi, M S Sathyu and Shyam Benegal.

An avowed communist, Kaifi's association with the Progressive Writers' Movement and the Communist Party lent a distinctive social consciousness to all his works.

"I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit with him, talk to him and listen to him, which was a great learning experience for me as a poet, a writer, and as a person," said Akhtar.