No proof needed; ‘khela hobe’ in India, says Javed Akhtar after meeting Mamata

Published on Jul 29, 2021 09:05 PM IST

The lyricist-poet, who along with his actor-wife Shabana Azmi, met West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Delhi, said that he believes a change should come in India.

Javed Akhtar called his and wife Shabana Azmi's meeting with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as a "courteous" one. (ANI Photo)
Javed Akhtar called his and wife Shabana Azmi's meeting with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as a "courteous" one. (ANI Photo)
Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Lyricist-poet Javed Akhtar and his actor-wife Shabana Azmi are the latest names to feature in the list of significant personalities Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee met during her ongoing five-day visit to the national capital. Addressing media persons after the meeting, Akhtar said, “In our little conversation, she never said that leadership is her priority. She believes that she wants a Parivartan. Earlier she fought for Bengal and now she wants to fight for a change in India.”

Akhtar said that he believes there “should be a change” in the country, adding that it is a “matter of shame” that Delhi witnessed communal riots. “There are so many tensions in the country right now…There is the issue of polarization. Many give aggressive statements…There are incidents of violence,” the lyricist told the media.

Referring to the meeting with Banerjee, Akhtar said that it was a “courteous meeting,” and that it is West Bengal’s history that it had “led the revolutionary movements.” He added that he also congratulated the Bengal chief minister for her victory in the recently concluded Assembly elections and that he is “grateful” to her for support in the Royalty bill amendment in order for music, composers, lyricists and songwriters benefitting from the royalty. “The artists and intellectuals of Bengal support Mamata ji,” Akhtar said.

When asked if Banerjee’s popular “Khela hobe” slogan will resonate across India, the lyricist said that it is beyond discussion now. “It does not need proof,” he added.

Banerjee has been meeting several important Opposition leaders since her visit to Delhi, including Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, party leader Rahul Gandhi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. On Wednesday, following her meeting with Sonia, Banerjee said that in 2021 Lok Sabha elections “poore desh me khela hobe” (game will be on all over the country).

Also Read | 'Poore desh me khela hobe': Mamata on Opposition’s unity ahead of 2024 elections

The chief minister said that during the 2024 general elections, the competition will be between “Prime Minister Narendra Modi versus [the] country.”

She also urged all Opposition parties to come together in the fight against dethroning Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the central ruling dispensation. “It is essential for everyone to come together in order to defeat the BJP. Alone, I am nothing – everyone will have to work together. I am not a leader. I am a cadre. I am a person from the street,” she said.

(With ANI inputs)

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