Pippa makers react to backlash over AR Rahman’s song Karar oi louho kopat | Bollywood

Pippa’s song Karar Oi Louho Kopat is grabbing attention. Pippa makers have clarified their artistic interpretation of the iconic song by Kazi Nazrul Islam after the late poet’s grandson and painter Kazi Anirban claimed that the family had given the makers permission to use the song, but not to change the tunes and rhythm. The film, starring Ishaan Khatter and Mrunal Thakur, is set during the 1971 India-Pakistan war and is directed by Raja Krishna Menon. Pippa was released on Prime Video on November 10. Also read: Pippa Twitter reviews

Ishaan Khatter as Captain Balram Singh Mehta in Pippa.
Ishaan Khatter as Captain Balram Singh Mehta in Pippa.

In a statement shared on X, the team behind Pippa, producers RSVP and Roy Kapur Films, said they have ‘deep respect’ for the original composition, Kazi Nazrul Islam and his immeasurable contribution to the ‘musical, political and social landscape of the Indian subcontinent’. The album, they said, was created as a tribute to those behind the liberation of Bangladesh.

Pippa makers’ statement

“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 read.

“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 Late Mrs Kalyani Kazi and witnessed by Mr Anirban Kazi. 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,” it added.

The makers said while all art is subjective, they apologise if their version of Karar Oi Louho Kopat hurt sentiments, saying, β€œWe 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.”

Pippa song Karar Oi Louho Kopat

The new rendition of Karar Oi Louho Kopat in Pippa was done after securing necessary adaptation rights, the film’s team said on Monday, days after A R Rahman’s version of the beloved Kazi Nazrul Islam poem attracted controversy for its alleged ‘distortion’. The song was first published in Banglar Katha (Stories of Bengal) magazine in 1922 and included in Islam’s book of poems Bhangar Gaan (Songs of breaking free). It was first recorded in 1949 by a famous label and then in 1952 by another record label.

The controversy

The poem’s new iteration by AR Rahman has angered not just the family of the poet, but also the artistic community in West Bengal and Bangladesh. Kazi Nazrul Islam’s grandson Kazi Anirban, granddaughter Anindita Kazi, popular Bengali singer Haimanti Shukla and Khilkhil Kazi, another granddaughter of the poet living in Bangladesh, have slammed the filmmakers for ‘distorting’ the poet’s creation, which they say is outrageous. AR Rahman is yet to comment on the issue.

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