Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi question PM Narendra Modi makers over credits

Lyricist Javed Akhtar has questioned the explanation given by the makers of PM Narendra Modi regarding the inclusion of his name alongside other lyricists in the film’s trailer. The lyricist had issued a denial of his involvement with the film on Twitter, leading to the makers issuing a clarification that Akhtar was being credited for the use of his old songs.

However, the lyricist has questioned the intention behind the reasoning. Speaking to tabloid Mumbai Mirror, Akhtar said, “Firstly, I don’t know who Ssandip Singh is. Secondly, when you take an old song in your film you don’t give credit to the original person on your promotional material.”

The issue erupted when Akhtar denied writing the lyrics for the biopic on prime minister Narendra Modi, featuring Vivek Anand Oberoi on Friday. This was followed by a similar statement from lyricist Sameer Anjaan, who also denied writing lyrics for any song in the film by Omung Kumar.

Producer Sandip Ssingh had issued a clarification on 23 March saying that the lyricists had been credited for the old songs from earlier films which had been used in PM Narendra Modi.

Singh said in his statement ‘T-series being the official music partner of our film, we have taken the songs ‘Ishwar Allah’ from the film 1947: Earth (1999) and ‘Suno Gaur Se Duniya Walon’ from the film Dus (1997) and thus we have given due credit to the respective lyricists Javed Saheb and Sameerji’

While the filmmakers have often re-used old songs as remakes or in their original form in their films, none of them have previously credited the original lyricists on the trailer to the film.

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A recent example would be Shelly Chopra Dhar’s Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga, featuring Sonam Kapoor, which similarly used Javed Akhtar’s famed song from 1942: A Love Story (1994) as its title.

Akhtar pointed out the same in his quote to the tabloid saying, “If they wanted to give me respect why haven’t they given the same to Shankar Ehsaan Loy or AR Rahman?”

Actress Shabana Azmi also reiterated the same point on her Twitter page saying: ‘It’s quite clear this was done with deliberate intentions to mislead public into believing that Javed Akhtar has written the songs for Mr PM Narendra Modi…

In response, producer Ssingh was quoted by PTI as saying, “I did not get any call from him and so I also did not call him. He spoke about it on Twitter, so even I replied there. But he could have called us.”

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