'The film industry has boycotted me'

May 27, 2012, 06:58 IST | Subhash K Jha

The lyricist says prestigious banners have been staying away from him ever since he decided to fight for copyright amendment in favour of lyricists and singers; says he will stick to his stand and is prepared for a boycott

Many powerful producers, not just Mukesh Bhatt, are up in arms against Javed Akhtar for fighting for copyright amendment in favour of lyricists and singers.

Ever since he became vocal about intellectual property rights two years ago, Akhtar has been writing no lyrics or dialogues for any of the big banners in Bollywood except his son Farhan Akhtar’s banner.

Yashraj Films, Dharma Productions and other prestigious production houses have been discreetly staying away from Akhtar. The poet-lyricist, who has been fighting a long battle for a change in copyright rules in favour of lyricists and music directors in the Indian film industry says he was rendered nearly jobless because of his fight.

Says Akhtar, “It is true that the big producers didn’t want to work with me. I was without work for the past few years. But now that the amendment is a reality I don’t mind a lifetime ban. Producers can stop giving me work completely. But royalty to unhein denee hi padegi. This amendment in the Rajya Sabha is like an elephant passing through the eye of a needle.”

Akhtar is certain that within a month the amendment will be a reality. “Hopefully this week it will be passed in the Lok Sabha as well. Then it’s just a matter of time.” He adds, “Lataji’s approval of the amendment is the final seal for me.”

Reacting to Bhatt’s barb about Akhtar being in Kapil Sabil’s durbar, just as Tansen used to be in Akbar’s durbar the lyricist quipped, “There’s bound to be resentment. I am prepared for it.” 

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