Film Poet Gulzar feels the commercial element in Bollywood must be blamed for the decline in music
Filmmaker, David Dhawan, famous for giving momentum to such cheap lyrics like Sarkailoo Khatiya Jada Lage… Sexy Sexy Mujhe Log Bole… says, “The film industry is an amazing place. Here if you show semi-nude woman bathing on foot-path like Smita Patil in film Chakra or Seema Biswas in the film Bandit Queen, not just nude but also conversing filthy language, then in the name of realism, people appreciate it and the critics go gaga over it! But if, I expose a little for entertainment, a hell lot of hungama is created!!
David Dhawan‘s regular lyricist Sameer protecting himself said, “Initially I was very uncomfortable while penning Sarkailo Khatiya Jaada Laage… but David sahab convinced me that cinema is fun and entertainment. Since the songs become a hit I think David Sahab was not wrong”.
Distinguished film lyricist Gulzar, defending himself and the array of a sensible lyricist who still survives on good poetry, claims, “I think it is incorrect to blame all the poets for ribald lyrics. To accuse all poets, for the fault of few is wrong. It’s true a horde of film lyricists have gone cheap but more than the lyricist it’s the commercial element in Bollywood that needs to be blamed for the decline of good music in Bollywood.”
Explaining his point, Gulzar said, “To lure a certain section of film buffs usually termed as ‘frontbenchers’ in film vocabulary the producer’s force upon writers to stoop. Hence even an intelligent lyricist like Indeevar, who once wrote the philosophical number like Chood De Saari Duniya Kisi Ke Liye, Ye Munasib Nahin Aadmi Ke Liye…’ have had to write Bak Bak Mat Kar Nak Tera Lamba Hai…’ or even the gifted Javed Akhtar wrote ‘Ek… Do… Teen… to please his producers.” He added, “With the exception of Sahir, Kaifi or Pradeep almost all the film lyricist has had to go cheap at some point of the careers thus lending a bad name to film lyricist!”
True, History is has seen that more than entertainment, film songs have often played a pivotal role in highlighting the nation’s issues. In the mid-’70s when the emergency was clamped in the country and inflammation had sky-rocketed, it was again the film music the EXPOSED the corruption in the country. The most hard-hitting lyric to unmask government’s wrongdoings was from Manoj Kumar‘s movie, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, which went… Hai Mehangai…. Hai Mehangai …Maar gayi Mehangai
Even today able lyricist does come up with thought-provoking lyrics like Channa Mereya from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil or Zindagi maut na ban jaaye… (Sarfarosh) or Har Ghadi Badal Raha Hai Roop Zindagi… (Kal Ho Naa Ho) or the latest Gulzar‘s song Ae Watan.. Aabaad Rahe Tu… (Raazi) etc.
To end the controversy, film actress Shabana Azmi says aptly, “It’s true that it’s the filmmaker’s responsibility to exercise caution and film lyricist to draw a line across the limits of decency. But what’s more important are the masses. If the masses encourage such lyrics than however, social organizations, shout their voice out, nothing can stop this boorish carnage on earth!!!’
“The ball is now in the court of the masses. If they want to maintain the high standards of our culture and heritage then it’s only in their hand to reject and discard such ribald songs and movies,” she asserts!!