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Writer Manoj Mairta claims not getting due credits for Mere Pyare Prime Minister, director denies allegation

Writer Manoj Mairta alleges that makers of the Bollywood film Mere Pyare Prime Minister are not acknowledging his contribution to the movie.

bollywood Updated: Oct 12, 2018 18:44 IST
Shreya Mukherjee
Shreya Mukherjee
Hindustan Times
Writer Manoj Mairta,Mere Pyare Prime Minister,Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s upcoming movie ‘Mere Pyare Prime Minister’ is facing dispute. Writer Manoj Mairta alleges that he is yet to get due credit for the film.

Writer Manoj Mairta alleges that he has not been given due credit for the upcoming Bollywood film Mere Pyare Prime Minister, directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. According to him, he had written the story, screenplay and dialogues. Initially, he was not even given the credit for the story (when the promotion began), which, they did later. Manoj had reached out to Mehra and also appealed to Screenwriters Association (SWA). Mehra, in his defence, claims that Mairta has made “default representation” and approached the directors and producers associations.

Read| Rakeysh Mehra shares first poster of Mere Pyare Prime Minister

“I had written the story in 2012 and the subject was very special to me. The initial title that I registered was Seven RCR and I had approached various filmmakers with my story including Nitin Kakkar, Anand L Rai, Anubhav Sinha, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra…,” says Manoj, who was at that time assisting writer Dilip Shukla as for Dabangg 2 (2012). He later assisted him on Jai Ho (2104).

Manoj shares that he had changed the title of the film to My Dear Prime Minister in 2014, and by then, Mehra also showed interest in meeting him to discuss the story.

Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra refutes allegation and says truth will be out soon. (Photo/Amal KS)

“He [Mehra] liked the idea and said he will make it and got busy with Mirzya (2016). He again asked me to meet him on early 2015 and we discussed the story again and later in the year he asked me to rework on the script, which I did and send him back. He replied saying that he might make a few changes for the good and I agreed. Shooting started in 2017 and as far as I know they have only made a few cosmetic changes. But when the publicity for the film began first, I wasn’t given any credit and in interviews Mehra said that I only contributed one line story idea and rest was written by him. I immediately contacted Mehra and he gave me credit for story but no credit for screenplay and dialogue. I then approached SWA and they gave the verdict in my favour,” Manoj says.

When contacted Mehra, he states, “He [Manoj] has made a default representation at SWA. There is another writer in question Hussain Dalal whose rights we need to protect. So the matter will come up for discussion and all will be resolved soon. If you look at our IMDB post, he is very much their as the writer.”

Writer Manoj Mairta is hopeful that he will get his due credit for Mere Pyare Prime Minister.

Vinod Ranganath, who is a member of SWA’s executive committee, and was also the chairperson of the Dispute settlement committee of SWA, which took the call regarding Manoj’s issue. He says, “Yes, Manoj approached us and after a proper investigation, we came to the conclusion that he should be given the first credit for screenplay and dialogue. It’s true that the story, script, screenplay and dialogues have been written by Manoj. It is also true that Mehra had made substantial changes, but then the changes were done on the material that Manoj had given. We had called Mehra for a meeting, his CEO came and we discussed everything. After giving our verdict, we even told that they can challenge the same within a month. But then they took four months to get back. I think they weren’t satisfied with our verdict,” he adds.

Ranganath also added that Mehra and his team had followed the legal format of signing a contract with Manoj and even gave his remuneration. “When they have been so transparent unlike a lot others, why are they doing this right now is something I’m not being able to understand,” he says.

Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit, president of Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association, confirms that they and Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association have been approached. “We’ve already formed a committee, who will check both the versions and then a call in a week’s time,” he adds.

Author tweets @Shreya_MJ

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First Published: Oct 12, 2018 18:36 IST