Pippa makers apologise after AR Rahman’s rendition of controversial Kazi Nazrul Islam song

Pippa Song Row. Pippa's poster tweeted by Amazon Prime Video

#Pippa, #KaziNarulIslam,  #ARRahman, #Bollywood, #BangladeshWar

IBNS: Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman recently got into a controversy for a song in Ishaan Khatter and Mrunal Thakur-starrer Pippa. Following a massive row over the rendition of the iconic Bengali song ‘Karar oi louho kopat’ (Iron bars of a jail) by the revered Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam in the Bollywood war film, Pippa makers have now released an apology for ‘hurting sentiments..

However, the team made it clear that they secured necessary adaptation rights to the original song.

The poet’s family has alleged that Rahman’s rendition has “distorted” the rhythm and melodies of the song, media reports said.

Image Instagrammed by AR RahmanImage Instagrammed by AR Rahman

Kazi Anirban, Nazrul’s grandson and a painter, has said that his mother agreed to the song’s inclusion in the movie, but she did not give permission to change the tunes, media reports said.

The singer and composer made a rendition of Bengali poet Nazrul Islam’s patriotic song Karar Oi Louho Kopat for the war drama. However, it drew flak after netizens disliked it.

The statement, released by the film’s makers, read: “In light of the current discourse surrounding the song ‘Karar Oi Louho Kopat’ the producers, director, and music composer of the film Pippa wish to clarify that our rendition of the song is a sincere artistic interpretation, embarked upon only after securing the necessary adaptation rights from the estate of the Late Mr. Kazi Nazrul Islam.”

The statement further added, “We approached the making of this song by faithfully following both the letter and the spirit of the license agreement for the lyrics, as duly signed with the Late Mrs. Kalyani Kazi and witnessed by Mr. Anirban Kazi.”

Statement from the team of Pippa. pic.twitter.com/UpVe0qTj4G— RSVP (@RSVPMovies) November 13, 2023

The makers apologized for hurting sentiments in the statement and said, “Our intent was to pay homage to the cultural significance of the song while adhering to the terms set forth in our agreement, which permitted us to use the lyrics with a new composition. We understand the emotional attachment that audiences may have to the original composition, and while all art is inherently subjective if our interpretation has hurt sentiments or caused unintended distress, we offer our sincere apologies.”

According to the Times of India, singer Kalyani Kazi, Nazrul’s daughter-in-law, had granted the licence of this literary work to Roy Kapur Productions Pvt Ltd in 2021 in lieu of Rs 2 lakh for a Hindi-language film, set during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. For ‘Pippa’, starring Ishaan Khatter and Mrunal Thakur, Rahman reinterpreted the song.

The war drama Pippa, helmed by Raja Krishna Menon, and produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapur stars Ishaan Khatter, Mrunal Thakur, Priyanshu Painyuli, and Soni Razdan.

The film is based on the life of Captain Balram Singh Mehta of India’s 45 Cavalry regiment. It was released direct-to-OTT on November 10 on Amazon Prime Video.