Rebel poet Nazrul’s kin demands pact on changing iconic song's tune be made public

Rebel poet Nazrul’s kin demands pact on changing iconic song's tune be made public

Kolkata, Nov 22 (PTI) Flagging 'discrepancies' in the agreement forwarded to her on the use of a popular patriotic song by Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam in a Bollywood film, his granddaughter Anindita Kazi on Monday demanded that the original pact be made public.

A controversy has erupted over AR Rahman’s rendition of the song 'Karar oi louho kopat' (Iron bars of a jail) in the 2023 war movie 'Pippa', with the litterateur’s family and singers expressing outrage over the 'distortion' in rhythm and tunes.

The film which was released on an OTT platform recently is based on real-life events that happened during a battle in the 1971 India-Pakistan War, which led to the birth of Bangladesh.

Nazrul Islam, popularly known as the 'rebel poet', was born in 1899 in present-day West Bengal's Paschim Bardhaman district. His songs, known as 'Nazrul geeti', are probably second in terms of popularity after those of Rabindranath Tagore in Bengal. He later became the national poet of Bangladesh.

Anindita flagged many 'discrepancies' in the claim by her brother Kazi Anirban about the signing of the agreement inked by her late mother Kalyani Kazi and the 'Pippa' makers in September 2021.

Anirban who signed the pact as a witness, however, rejected the charges.

In an interview with PTI, she said, 'A copy of the agreement was forwarded to me and I have doubts about its authenticity for various reasons. It appears to be written on a blank paper, it was signed on September 4, 2021, by the witness while the date of agreement was September 8.' In a recent Instagram post, the makers of the movie said the agreement permitted them to use the lyrics with a new composition but apologised if their interpretation had “hurt sentiments or caused unintended distress”.

Anindita wondered why the post was not written on a letterhead.

'The governments of India and Bangladesh should make Anirban submit the original document,” she said.

Her brother Anirban discounted all claims asserting that their mother Kalyani Kazi was the sole heir of Nazrul's creative properties in her lifetime and she had authorised him to speak with the production house on behalf of her.

Anindita, who lives in New Jersey, said, 'It is baffling that my mother would not tell her other children about it when a composer of A R Rahman’s stature will work on the iconic song. I had spent a considerable time with her before her death in Kolkata (in May). Even when I am away, she used to talk to me over phone regularly.' She said the Pippa team had informed people about the use of the agreement in changing the tune of the 102-year-old song but it is strange that Anirban did not raise any objection to that.

The lyrics of the song was first published in 'Banglar Katha' (Stories of Bengal) magazine in 1922 and included in Nazrul's book of poems 'Bhangar Gaan' (Songs of Breaking Free). It was first recorded in 1949 by a famous label and then in 1952 by another record label.

Islam’s poems and songs inspired India's freedom struggle. He was arrested in 1923 as a magazine he founded and edited was critical of the British Raj.

A few months after Bangladesh was created, he was brought to Dhaka in 1972 by its new government with the consent of the authorities in India. He was, however, suffering from a neurological disease which, by then, took away his memory. He was given citizenship in the neighbouring country in 1976, the year he died there. PTI SUS NN

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated feed.

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