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I oppose, disagree, lament, dispute: Amitabh Bachchan on losing rights to father’s works

Expressing his anger over copyright laws, Amitabh Bachchan wrote, “shall not and will not allow its dilution to general public,” about the works of his father and famous poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan.

bollywood Updated: Mar 19, 2018 09:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Amitabh Bachchan,Harivansh Rai Bachchan,Madhushala
Amitabh Bachchan’s father is a famous poet and the actor is angry that he no longer holds copyright over his dad’s poems.

Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan is extremely angry over the way copyright laws work in India, especially because it affects his ownership of his dad and famous poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s works.

Pouring out his heart on his blog, Bachchan wrote, “copyright .. !! written copyright and whatever else in the realm , lives 60 years after the passing with the elements of them that be the rightful uttradhikari.. really ..? so who designed 60 years ? why 60 why not 61 , or why not perpetuity !! inheritors that come as natural heirs be natural right holders of creative copyright .. right .. but after 60 years its natural inheritors, after the passing, the heirs become the public at large .. ehh ..?who did this intellectual legality .. at what context.”

“So what gets left as natural heir by Father Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan, after his passing passed 60 years, belongs no longer to his domain or possessive copyright as willed .. but becomes for the entire Universe to tread, scratch, mutilate, use in commercial consideration on their own creative discretion .. ??? RUBBISH .. ! I OPPOSE, DISAGREE, LAMENT, DISPUTE, BE IN VARIANCE OF, IN VEHEMENT LOUD SCREAMS OF VOICE .. EVER,” he further wrote.

Asserting his ownership over Harivansh Rai’s literary works, Amitabh wrote, “My inheritance be mine .. not another’s after the passing of its stipulated time in years .. 60 .. i am genetically my Father’s son .. he be willed to me of all that be in asset of his .. his writings be his .. his heir be me .. his writings be mine .. MINE ! i shall not and will not allow its dilution to general public . .I bring my inherited aesthetics to its creativity .. it may be the worst ever .. but it is my copyright .. another after the passage of the time recorded will use and design and perform and monetise and make diversions to it at will .. BECAUSE .. it now belongs to the public ..???? NEVER NEVER NEVER .. !!!!”

The actor added, “Why was not William ‘Bill’ Shakespeare made aware of copyright ; why not Mr Beethoven or Messrs Chopin and Tchaikovsky, or closer home Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore ‘Thakur’ .. had they known or made to know, they may never have wished for any other, but their progeny of generations to come … and because no record has been kept of such .. there is a LOSS OF OPPORTUNITY for them that were rightful heirs of them .. !! I fight for it.”

Read the complete blog here

Harivansh Rai Bachchan, who went to the Cambridge University, wrote several poems, including the famous collection - Madhushala. He is also acknowledged for his Hindi translations of Shakespeare’s Othello, Macbeth and the Bhagvad Gita. His last poem was ‘Ek November 1984’ , which he wrote on Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984 .

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First Published: Mar 19, 2018 09:27 IST