Director Bejoy Nambiar has decided to remove Lucky Ali's song Ya Hussain from his new film David after some groups objected to it. However, he has retained the tune in the movie.
A section of the Muslim community had urged Nambiar to remove the song as they felt it does not befit their definition of propriety. The song accompanied a sequence in the film, which showed a Moharram procession.
"The song Ya Hussain has now been deleted from my film. Only the music has been kept," said Nambiar.They (Muslim groups) objected to the song. But they were kind enough to accept my invitation to discuss the matter. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that it would be better if I didn't hurt anyone's sentiments. So I've decided to remove the song," he added.
Nambiar invited the members of the community to view the song sequence, following which the director took the decision to remove the song. "If one doesn't extend a hand of friendship, they would just go on protesting. It is better to sort it out through discussion rather than risk protests that could harm the release of the film," he said.
The director admits feeling frustrated at the moral censorship of cinema in the country. "Sadly this is the state of the nation that we are living in. Personally, I am anguished at being restricted at even the idea level. When I was writing 'David' I had no intention of offending anyone. Then why am I am being put through this," he said.
Nambiar says there was no time to put up a fight. "I know I could fight it out. But I can't delay my film's release. If David was a star-studded film I could take that risk. But I can't afford to lose my release window. The smartest thing I could do was find a compromise," he said. "So before the protests could get out of hand I invited the disgruntled section to see the portion of my film where the song 'Ya Hussain' occurs. Then we had a long discussion. And we decided to remove the vocals," he added.
He reveals that the artists involved with the song were under stress. "Lucky Ali was being hounded with messages. He being Muslim offending his own community was something that I couldn't deal with. Lucky requested I do something about the situation. Neil was also being hounded. I didn't want my artists to suffer for my creativity," said Nambiar.
The film featuring Neil Nitin Mukesh, Vikram and Vinay Virmani, releases February 1.