A storm of controversy has erupted over renowned composer AR Rahman’s rendition of the iconic song ‘Karar oi louho kopat’ by legendary Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam in the upcoming Bollywood film ‘Pippa,’ featuring Ishaan Khatter and Mrunal Thakur in lead roles. The poet’s family and the public have expressed outrage over perceived distortions in the rhythm and tunes of the song, leading to a heated debate on cultural sensitivity.
Nazrul Islam, revered as the ‘rebel poet’ and the national poet of Bangladesh, holds a special place in the hearts of people in India’s West Bengal. However, Rahman’s reinterpretation of ‘Karar oi louho kopat’ has triggered strong reactions, particularly from Nazrul’s family members.
Nazrul’s grandson, Kazi Anirban, voiced his concern, stating, “My mother had given her consent for using the song for the movie but not for changing the tunes. The way the song has been dished out with the change in rhythm and tunes is shocking.”
Anindita Kazi, Nazrul’s granddaughter, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing that the family cannot accept the distortion and is urging its immediate removal from the film and the public domain.
Prominent Bengali singer Haimanti Shukla expressed her dismay, stating, “Sentiments have been hurt by the act of sacrilege. I wonder how a composer like AR Rahman could make this happen… No such tinkering with songs of Kazi Nazrul Islam can be allowed. It is shameful for the Bengali singers who were part of the rendition. I am deeply outraged.”
The song, ‘Karar oi louho kopat,’ known for its association with the freedom struggle, holds historical significance. Its lyrics were first published in ‘Banglar Katha’ magazine in 1922 and later included in Nazrul’s book of poems, ‘Bhangar Gaan.’ The song was initially recorded in 1949 and then again in 1952 by different record labels.
Social media has also become a platform for public outcry, with netizens questioning whether Rahman conducted thorough research before presenting the song in a new light. However, historian-researcher Chinmoy Guha criticized the outrage, pointing out a lack of consistent engagement with Nazrul’s works among Bengalis.
Despite attempts to reach AR Rahman for comments on the controversy, his response remains unavailable, leaving the unfolding debate to stir discussions on artistic interpretation, cultural preservation, and the responsibilities associated with revisiting iconic compositions.
Sources By Agencies