Pippa makers apologize for controversial AR Rahman rendition

MUMBAI, NOV 14: The makers of the recently released biographical war film ‘Pippa’ issued an apology on Monday following the backlash received for AR Rahman’s rendition of ‘Karar Oi Louho Kopat.’

Rahman had recently created a rendition of Bengali poet Nazrul Islam’s patriotic song for the war drama, sparking controversy.

In an Instagram post on Monday, production house Roy Kapur Films addressed the issue, stating, “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.”

 “We have deep respect for the original composition and for the Late Mr. Kazi Nazrul Islam, whose contribution to the musical, political, and social landscape of the Indian subcontinent is immeasurable. This album was created as a tribute to the men and women who dedicated their lives to the liberation of Bangladesh and keeping in mind the sentiments of their struggle for freedom, peace, and justice,” the statement added.

The makers emphasized that they followed both the letter and the spirit of the license agreement for the lyrics, as signed with the Late Mrs. Kalyani Kazi and witnessed by Mr. Anirban Kazi.

Their intention was to pay homage to the cultural significance of the song while adhering to the terms outlined in the agreement, which permitted them to use the lyrics with a new composition.

“We 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,” the statement concluded.

The film, produced by Ronnie Screwvala under RSVP Movies and Siddharth Roy Kapur’s Roy Kapur Films, and directed by Raja Krishna Menon, features Ishaan, Mrunal Thakur, Priyanshu Painyuli, and Soni Razdan in pivotal roles.

Based on the book ‘The Burning Chaffees’ by Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta, the film is written by Menon, Tanmay Mohan, and Ravinder Randhawa.

The title of the film pays tribute to the amphibious war tank called the PT-76 (Palavushi Tanka), popularly known as “Pippa,” akin to an empty tin of ghee that smoothly floats on water. The wartime saga narrates a story of patriotism and traces the coming of age of Captain Balram Mehta (essayed by Ishaan) of the 45 Cavalry Tank Squadron. Together, Balram Mehta and the Indian Armed Forces exemplify valor and courage in a war for the liberation of another country. The film is streaming on the OTT platform Amazon Prime Video.

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