Whose fight is it anyway? Is it the lyricists' duty to protest against cheap songs?

Sonakshi Sinha and Akshay Kumar in Party Yuhi Chalegi from Boss.

The music industry has reacted strongly to the  recent comment by Leela Samson, chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), in which she has said that it is the responsibility of veteran lyricists to protest against the vulgar lyrics being used in songs currently.

“We are not protesting because it’s simply not our responsibility. I had a discussion with Gulzar sahab and Javed sahab on this, and we feel that lyricists can’t be expected to intervene; there is a censor board and it is their job,” says lyricist Sameer, who has penned popular songs in the ’90s like ‘Nazar ke samne’ and ‘Teri umeed tera intezaar’, among others. Adds Swanand Kirkire, best known for his song ‘All izz well’, “It doesn’t work like that. I think her concern is right, but the problem can’t be tackled in the way she’s suggesting. As a writer, you need to provide options to people to choose from.

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When something does well, producers also ask for similar kinds of songs.” Mayur Puri, who has penned the lyrics of ‘Johnny Johnny’ and ‘Veere di wedding’ adds, “The CBFC is not meant for moral policing. People are entitled to get the kind of entertainment they want. Her (Samson’s) comment is an insult to every lyricist,” says Puri.

However, writer Prasoon Joshi seems to agree thatlyricists need to be careful about what they write. “The creator must use his conscience. People write titillating stuff because they want to make a quick buck. I have protested against cheap lyrics several times,” says Joshi. “We are notrealising that the crass lyrics that we are passing on to the next generation won’t help them,” adds singer Kumar Sanu.


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