Javed Akhtar is an Indian poet, lyricist, screenwriter, and political activist. Known for his work in Hindi cinema, he has won five National Film Awards and received the Padma Shri in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 2007, two of India’s highest civilian honors. Akhtar came to recognition in the duo Salim–Javed and earned his breakthrough as a screenwriter with 1973’s Zanjeer. He went on to write the films Deewar and Sholay, released in 1975; they earned a cult following and significantly impacted popular culture. He later earned praise for his work as a lyricist, winning the National Film Award for Best Lyrics five times and the Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist eight times.