Should actors get royalties for reruns of Mahabharat, Ramayan? Chanakya’s Chandraprakash Dwivedi says timing wrong

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Apr 22, 2020 03:35 PM IST

While Pallavi Joshi and Dipika Chikhlia have raised the issue of giving royalty to actors and technicians as their 90s shows are being rerun, producers disagree.

As Doordarshan shows reruns of popular shows from the 90s, including Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan, BR Chopra’s Mahabharat and Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi’s Chanakya, a few of the actors who featured in these hit shows are voicing demands for royalty.

Chandraprakash Dwivedi talks about actors demanding royalty for the rerun of their popular 90s shows amid lockdown.
Chandraprakash Dwivedi talks about actors demanding royalty for the rerun of their popular 90s shows amid lockdown.

Pallavi Joshi, who was seen in Buniyaad, has said royalty should have been introduced when these shows came originally, adding that producers should share benefits from rerun as they are not making any additional efforts for the rerun. “Actors are actually forced to do a lot of work that they don’t wish to because of not having royalties in place, so it should have been introduced long back. The channel hasn’t produced any show, and the effort made by the producer during a re-run is zero. So when the producer is getting the extra money then he should distribute a percentage of it to the actors and technicians who are at home in these difficult times and struggling to put food on the table for their children,” Pallavi told Deccan Herald. Ramayan’s Sita aka Dipika Chikhlia also expressed similar views.

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However, Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi, who wrote, directed and played the lead role in Chanakya currently being aired on Doordarshan again, believes it is the wrong time to raise the issue of royalty. Speaking with Hindustan Times, he said, “As far as I know, all the producers have agreed for the rerun without any monetary gain. All the producers decided to do it free of cost, given the situation that we are in.”

The filmmaker, who is currently working on Akshay Kumar’s Prithviraj, however, added that he is not against the concept of giving royalty to artists. “You know even musicians, singers and lyricists have been waging this fight for getting royalty for their songs. If it happens, I am not against giving that cut to the artists, though I believe the writer and director are the major visionaries of any film or show. When it (a culture where royalty is given to artists) happens, it is most welcome. However, I think it is not the right time to raise this issue. We are facing a pandemic and there is so much that needs to be done for needy people.”

“These shows would not have been aired had it been normal times, and it is also not the first time that these shows are being shown again. They have been available on digital platforms, Chanakya has even been aired on other channels,” added Chandraprakash whose brother produced Chanakya.

Even Mukesh Khanna, who had produced Shaktimaan where he also played the lead role, believes the actors must not demand royalty. He had told DC, “It is not done. Certain things are contractual and actors have to abide by it. The producer can recover the money by all means. As an actor, I would say it sounds good. But as a producer, I will be making money from everywhere. Besides, most of them are seasoned actors and they are doing pretty well in the industry, so why to give them royalty?”

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