Prasoon Joshi is one lyricist who came to Bollywood after spending time in various creative fields and went on to give the Indian audience some evergreen and soulful renditions. The writer has penned songs like Maa for Taare Zameen Par, Zinda for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Chand Sifaarish for Fanaa among others. But the lyricist who has ruled Indian film industry for many years feels that now is the time when audiences needs to start rejecting what they don’t like.
Prasoon was in Delhi to attend a session of Jashn-e-Rekhta, a festival that celebrates Urdu. Talking to indianexpress.com, the scriptwriter-adman-lyricist sounded miffed with the prevailing double standards in the society where people criticises meaningless and derogatory songs, and yet are seen dancing only on those.
Retreading iconic Bollywood songs
I don’t have a problem with it only if it doesn’t hurt the essence of the original track. But if this counts as the majority of work and fresh creations are low in number then it is definitely not acceptable. There are two kinds of people who are recreating songs. First, those who are in awe of a particular piece of work and genuinely want to pay tribute to that and, the second, for whom this is a shortcut. So, I have a problem with the latter, not the former. Music composers must realise that they are letting go of the opportunity of creating a piece of art. In this profit-driven market, art is losing.
Audience needs to reject too
The audience is not exercising their power of rejection. The audience can anytime say no to certain kind of work that they don’t like. If a certain section of our society feels that some work is disrespecting women or is insensitive, they should boycott the creation and not buy it. When these creators will lose money, they will stop creating it. I hear a lot of criticism about some songs but there is a lot of double standards in our audience. They hate it but still, they enjoy it.
Importance of commercial hits for a writer
Yes, it is important for your film to be a hit. If you are writing a film, you will always want it to be celebrated and reach maximum number of people. But for me, a film is a hit when it is watched by many people. I would hate to create a film which I myself despise and have a hit. I want a hit which I feel great about. I don’t want a hit at the cost quality.
Bollywood give credits to lyricist, but we need more freedom
Bollywood does give credits to lyrics writers but more than credits, it is important that you get freedom and importance while creating a piece of art. I see great writers coming to Bollywood because genuine poetry lovers are not coming to the industry. A lot of filmmakers don’t like poetry and still they make films with songs in them. Today the purpose is only to entertain and not communicate anything. Songs are the soul of a film and I don’t want to waste my time writing an item number.
Only audience can end objectification of women
The audience will have to reject the objectionable content. Women themselves have to stand up for their dignity. It is high time that society must start taking a call and unanimously reject a work that disrespects a woman.