Acclaimed lyricist, screenwriter and ad guru Prasoon Joshi is “disappointed” with both Bollywood songs demeaning women as well as the common people who enjoy them and urged bad work be rejected so good work can come up.
Noting that the moral imbalances one can sometimes see in advertising is also a prominent feature of Bollywood, he said he was “disappointed”‘ with the Bollywood songs that demean women and equally disappointed with ordinary people normalising these songs by dancing to them or singing them.
“The audience has to reject bad work so that good work can be promoted,” said Joshi in a session titled “Ideate: Freedom to Dream” on the penultimate day of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 on Sunday.
Joshi, whose songs in path-breaking films like Black and Taare Zameen Par have been much acclaimed, revealed that not all the responses have been positive.
For “Maa” in “Taare Zameen Par”, which garnered him the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award, he said he got a “lot of hate mails from males”. Clarifying that he was not against fathers but was for mothers, he added he did not like the social norm of imposing the the burden of child-rearing on women only and that fathers must take equal responsibility.
On this moral imbalance in advertising especially in promoting ethics of advertising products that may have a harmful effect on society, Joshi, whose “Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola” was voted as one of the 20 best advertisements of the 21st century in a poll, agreed that “various filters should be applied” when it comes to what is advertised.
He however maintained that sometimes, it can be difficult for a single person to halt an enormous campaign by themselves. Ascribing his success in the ad world to his poetry-writing, he said however noted that “what gives meaning to life can’t be peddled as a product”. But as moderator, Yuva Ekta Foundation trustee Puneeta Roy, asked what this said about his career enquired what that said about his advertising career, Joshi said: “There is a transparency to advertising: it never tries to hide its intent. But look at the media instead, who in the name of news, print paid things.”
On the other reasons for his success, he said that it was important to give people “give an emotional connection to something that is very physical.” “You draw a picture in the mind of the consumer that this is not merely a product but an emotion. Nobody consumes a product alone,” he maintained.
Reciting a few lines of “Haan maine chookar dekha hain” from “Black”, he emphasised the importance of finding beauty in the mundane. “Loudspeakers should be removed, for the sound of a flute dies in the noise of a loudspeaker,” he said.