Akhtar had co-written the script of the 1975 film alongwith Salim Khan. "I am not against remaking movies, but I would not suggest the new generation to remake 'Sholay'. It is the most popular movie of its time and even now," Akhtar said at an interactive session.
"Can anyone remake movies like 'Godfather' and 'Gandhi'," he asked. "If someone really wants (to do remakes), then they should go for very old movies which were incomplete due to technical and financial reasons and if its story (fiction) is still relevant in the present times," he suggested.
On the proposed remake of Amitabh Bachchan-starrer 'Zanjeer', whose script was also written by the Salim-Javed duo, Akhtar said they had not sold the remake rights to anyone.
"The question of royalty does not arise unless rights are given of a particular movie," he said. He said the graph of songs in Bollywood movies has seen a constant downward trend. "But the truth is that there was no dearth of talent in Bollywood, but we need to know how they could be used for betterment," Akhtar said. The 67-year-old, who has also penned many popular songs, said the music and film industry has grown tremendously and the "feudal attitude" was the talk of the past.
"Bollywood has reached the "industrial age" and it is more corporate now, but the common workers still need better service conditions like salary, provident fund, guarantee, insurance and sense of security," he said.
He said that free market economy, packages, and growing western culture has created a sort of hollowness in the society. He said his new book 'Lawa' will be thought provoking. "This collection of "nazme/ghazal" written on various occasions in last 15 years have been included in the book dedicated to my best friend Farhan Mujeeb," he said.
Akthar said Dilip Kumar and Nutan were his favourite film actors. He said when he was about ten, he wanted to be a hero like Dilipsaab. Later on he wanted to be a film director and desired to work as an assistant with Guru Dutt.
But as destiny would have it, he became a poet. On social activist Anna Hazare's anti-corruption drive and demand for Lokpal bill, Akhtar said the Gandhian's intentions might be right, but the solution he wants through the Bill is not suitable as there are many laws to curb corruption.
On quota for minorities, Akthar said, "Giving quota privilege to minority would not be justified as there are many who are backward economically, educationally and socially. There should be a comprehensive policy plan development for all-round growth and prosperity of minorities, specially Muslims," he added.