On the occasion of Jan Nisar's 30th death anniversary on August 18, his son Javed Akhtar and daughter-in-law Shabana Azmi re-released his book, Hindustan Humara, published in two volumes.
Jan Nisar Akhtar was awarded the Sahitya Academy Award of India in 1976 for his collection of poetry titled Khaak-e-dil (Ashes of the Heart). Among his other collections are the titles Nazr-e-Butaan, Salaasil, Javidaan and Ghar Anga.
Speaking about the significance of Hindustan Humara, Azmi said, "We wanted to pay tribute. Jan Nisarsaab was commissioned by the late Jawaharlal Nehru to collate the best Hindustani poetry of last 300 years. The first edition of the book was released by Indira Gandhi. The book then went out of print and was not available for all these years. It will be useful for anybody who wants to do any definitive work on India. In terms of reference value, it is truly a treasure."
Talking about the contents of the two volumes, Javed Akhtar said, "The poetry in the first volume is about Indian culture. It covers festivals, deities, cities, mountains, rivers, religious leaders, music and dance. The second volume is about the socio-political consciousness of India between 1857 and 1947. It is also about the freedom movement and up to 25 years after. It is about the aspirations and dreams people had in those days. What I like best about his style is the simplicity of language. I have been asked time and again if today's generation is interested in such poetry. It is not that they don't enjoy such poetry. How will they enjoy it if they are not exposed to such work? Our bookstores must store books like these."
Director Sudhir Mishra added, "Thanks to poets like Jan Nisar, I have learnt and understood the intricacies of Urdu poetry. The sense of poetry you see in my films, along with their titles, are inspired from these poems I have grown up on."
Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Farhan Akhtar and Divya Dutta were some of the film personalities present at the event.