Dr. Salman Akhtar

Dr. Salman Akhtar

This is our final episode with Dr. Salman Akhtar about the history of Bollywood or Hindi cinema. We talk to him about the label “Bollywood,” used to describe the Hindi film industry based in Mumbai. There are those who don’t like the term, while others see nothing wrong in using the term. What does Dr. Akhtar think of the label?

And we end our final conversation on a personal note. Dr. Akhtar shares his memories about his parents Safiya Akhtar and Jan Nissan Akhtar. He lost his mother at a young age, and went to live with his uncle in Lucknow, which is where he grew up. His father Jan Nissan Akhhtar was a poet and lyricist who worked in the Hindi film industry.


In case you missed here is Part-1 of our conversation where Dr. Akhtar talks about his family and what got him interested in the history of Hindi cinema. Dr. Akhtar is a Psychiatrist and a professor at Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He has has written extensively on  psychiatry, psychoanalysis and about poetry and films. And in Part-2 Dr. Akhtar talks about the profound sexual angst in the films from the 1950s and 1960s. In Part-3 of our conversation he talks about female sexuality and the angry young man phase of Hindi cinema. In Part-4 Dr. Akhtar discusses the trends in Bollywood in the last 20 years.

Jan Nissar Akhtar wrote the lyrics for the songs in this 1956 film “Naya Andaaz.”

Photo courtesy of Dr. Salman Akhtar

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