Noted Bollywood scriptwriter and lyricist, Javed Akhtar has spoken out against lewd lyrics being used in songs in the past. Now, he feels that there should be an official body to monitor and censor lyrics just as there’s one for movies.
“It’s terrible! Vulgarity, obscenity and this kind of perversion is simply not acceptable in the music industry. As a matter of fact, I suggest that the way films are censored, songs should also be censored before the release of the music,” says the 69-year-old, and goes on to explain, “Usually, songs are released before the film goes to the Censor Board and even if the songs are deleted from the film by the board for vulgar lyrics, they continue to play everywhere. This must stop.”
Ask him if he’s ever been asked to write vulgar lyrics, and he shares, “Yes, and every time that has happened, I have walked out of those ventures. I would never do it because my songs are in the public domain.”
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In fact, Akhtar says that he has had to face resistance from within the industry for not writing songs with obscene lyrics, which he thinks are in demand now. “When I was fighting the copyright issue, a lot of music companies turned hostile and obviously shunned me. It’s no different this time. However, I will only work on my own terms,” says Akhtar, who is currently writing the lyrics for daughter Zoya Akhtar’s next film.
The veteran feels that it is due to the low quality of lyrics that songs don’t have recall value these days. “Today, the focus is more on the tempo of the beats at the cost of the subject of the song, and that’s a bad deal,” he says.
­Mika Singh, singer
Whatever Javed sir has said can’t be negated, but such (vulgar) songs are gaining popularity only because there’s a demand for them.
Ankit Tiwari, singer-composer
Music gives you the freedom of speech and expression, but at the same time, you have to be responsible as an artiste.
Kailash Kher, singer
Creating a new body is not the solution. The existing board should bring in a protocol to check vulgar songs.