Eminent writer duo who gave super-hit films like SHOLAY, DEEWAAR, ZANJEER, DON, TRISHUL, MR.INDIA etc were felicitated at the opening ceremony of 17th Jio MAMI film festival for their brilliant contribution to cinema with the award ‘Excellence In Cinema.’
The award was presented to them by eminent filmmaker and himself a proficient writer Rajkumar Hirani. While Javed Akhtar was present, Salim Khan, who is recuperating from his hernia surgery that was performed recently, could not be present but on his behalf his son Sohail Khan accepted the award.
Speaking about the amazing contribution of Salim Javed to Indian Cinema Rajkumar Hirani recalled an interesting anecdote that speaks volumes about the popularity of Salim Javed as a ‘star’ writer duo.
He said, “Last year during my tour to UK I visited many places of interest along with few Indians and hired an Indian guide. When we toured London, the guide introduced London as the city of Shakespeare. Incidentally one Indian was not aware of Shakespeare hence to make him understand he said, ‘Shake spear is just like Salim-Javed in India.”
Marveling the huge popularity of Salim Javed, Rajkumar Hirani said, “I truly acknowledge the guide’s comparison of Salim Javed with literary genius William Shakespeare because just as Shakespeare gave a new dimension and respectability to writers in Europe likewise Salim Javed set new norms and took film writers to dizzy heights of popularity.”
Hirani admitted that he himself has learnt a lot from the duo’s excellent craft. Hence without hesitation he concluded, “Salim Javed is one of the best writers in the world.”
Salim Javed definitely commands respect because in an industry where writers are considered next to a clerk Salim Javed changed the scenario.
From their very first film HATHI MERE SATHI they demanded high remuneration, almost five times more what was offered to other writers. In fact by the mid 70’s their remuneration reached its peak and they charged more than superstar Amitabh Bachchan!
That’s not all they were the only writer duo who got credits on film posters, which till the late 60’s was only restricted for actors, film director, producer and music directors
And last but not the least all their films that were remade in South Cinema like Rajinikanth’s hit films BILLA (Remake of DON) or THEE (Remake of DEEWAAR) had their names in credit and they were offered remuneration. Such a thing has never happened in the history of Indian cinema till date! Only Salim Javed has this rare honor!!