Badshah accused of plagiarism for Genda Phool: Tried to revive our culture

Updated: Apr 02, 2020, 08:18 IST | Agencies | Mumbai

Accused of plagiarism for Genda Phool, Badshah on why he chose to revisit the folk song

Picture Courtesy: Official YouTube Page/Sony Music India
Picture Courtesy: Official YouTube Page/Sony Music India

After being deluged with plagiarism charges by netizens over his latest track Genda phool, rapper Badshah has defended himself saying he has been trying to reach out to the creator of the original track, but to no avail. Badshah's new song mixes rap with lyrics from an old Bengali folk hit, Boroloker biti lo, created by Ratan Kahar, and originally sung by Swapna Chakraborty. Clarifying his situation on social media, the rapper claimed that he has been trying to contact Kahar, but has not managed to do so owing to the ongoing nationwide lockdown.

"After receiving so much information from the Bengali community, I have been constantly trying my best to reach out to him, [so that I can] do justice [given] the situation. However, the lockdown has [been a hindrance]. It has been difficult to get through to the village that shri Kahar is in; I am still trying," Badshah tweeted.

The rapper has also requested anyone who might have any knowledge of how to contact Kahar, to help him get connected. "I urge and request any of the representatives who have been speaking on his behalf, to help me connect with him so I can do whatever is possible on my part, on humanitarian grounds, to set things right." He further stated: "A couple of days after the song's release, I started getting feedback on my social media that the Bengali lyrics are originally from a song called Boroloker beti lo, that were penned by the veteran artist Shri Ratan Kahar."

Claiming the original creator of the 1972 song has not been given due credit in any of the previous versions, Badshah further wrote: "We had done our due diligence before releasing the song, and nowhere on any copyright societies or on any of the previous reprises/versions of the song was Mr Ratan Kahar credited as a lyricist. Information all across say that Boroloker beti lo is a traditional/folk song from the Bauls of Bengal. Just for general information, traditional songs are open for recreations/reprises/sampling globally."

On Instagram, the rapper said he has always tried to include cultural elements in his commercial tracks to draw attention to the former. "I have always believed that there is nothing more vibrant and beautiful than our Indian culture, music and language. Despite being a commercial artiste, I always try to include [such] elements in my music, and present it to the world."

Meanwhile, veteran folk artist Kahar reportedly lives amid poverty in West Bengal. He reportedly told a publication that he would, at the very least, like to be recognised for his work.

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