'Pippa' filmmakers apologize for altering iconic Bengali song in movie

The movie is streaming on Prime Video

'Pippa' filmmakers have issued an apology after facing backlash for altering the original composition of the song 'Karar Oi Louho Kopat' by Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. A long statement was issued on Instagram by Roy Kapur Films, which bankrolled the project. In the statement, the makers said they had deep respect for the original composition and had made the alteration as the agreement permitted them to use the lyrics with a new composition.

“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. We approached the making of this song by faithfully following both the letter and the spirit of the license agreement for the lyrics, as duly signed with Late Mrs Kalyani Kazi and witnessed by Mr ANirban Kazi.

Our intent was to pay homage to the cultural significance of the song while adhering to the terms set forth in our agreement, which permitted us to use the lyrics with a new composition. We understand the emotional attachment that audiences may have to the original and while all art is inherently subjective, if our interpretation has hurt sentiments or caused unintended distress we offer our sincere apologies,” the statement said.

Music composer A R Rahan had drawn flak for altering the rendition of the song. Even the litterateur's family expressed outrage over the distortion of the rhythm and tune of the song, demanding that the new version be removed from public domain with immediate effect.

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