Aamir Khan’s TV debut yesterday, which was preceded by months of publicity, culminated in a controversy with the band Euphoria alleging that the chorus of the show’s 22-minute anthem, Satyamev Jayate, had been lifted from the band’s decade-old song Satyameva Jayate. While Euphoria’s lead singer Palash Sen said all the TV show’s team had to do was ask him for their song to be used, composer Ram Sampath refused to comment.
I was shocked: Palash
For the last few days, Palash Sen has been receiving calls from many of his fans who told him that the tune of the anthem of Aamir’s show, Satyamev Jayate, was the same as Euphoria’s song, which was also called Satyameva Jayate.
“The trailers and the anthem of this show have been running on television for quite a while, but I had not seen the videos. When I heard it, I was shocked. In 2000, Euphoria released its second album Phir Dhoom, and one of its songs was named Satyameva Jayate. And the chorus of composer Ram Sampath’s version of Satyamev Jayate is exactly the same as the chants in our song. They’ve basically used the same refrain. Jo baaki ka gaana hai, that has different words and tune. But the mainstay of the song – the chorus – is ours. Which is why I’ve sent a legal notice to them,” says Palash.
He adds, “It was the first Indian non-film song that was composed on the thought and phrase of ‘satyameva jayate’. We used to play that song extensively at our concerts about a decade ago. That song is not as popular as Maaeri (from the same album) because we did not make a video for it. But I believe that is the point – if one takes a 12-year-old song and picks up its chorus, most people won’t know about it, barring a few passionate fans who instantly recalled it and called me up.”
I’d have given permission
“They could have asked me and I’d have agreed at one go. I wouldn’t have asked for money. I would have just asked for a small credit to the band for the song,” says Palash.
“A lot of times, I see Euphoria’s tunes, catch-phrases, etc, in many Bollywood songs, but since that was not full-fledged copying, I didn’t raise any objection. I admire and respect Ram, and I remember how he fought for copyright issues when his own song was lifted and used in Rakesh Roshan’s Krazzy 4, hence the shock is even greater. The problem is that today, in the industry, copying is so frequent that people don’t even care about the original contributor’s objections.I want the audience to hear Euphoria’s Satyameva Jayate and decide on their own,” says Palash.
In 2008, Ram was involved in a similar copyright controversy, but back then, he was the one accusing the Roshans of not giving him credit for the music of Krazzy 4. He ultimately won the case and got 2 crore as compensation.
No comment: Ram Sampath
When contacted about Palash’s allegations, Ram Sampath, composer of the anthem for Aamir’s TV show, said, “I don’t have any idea about what you are saying. Nobody has said anything of this sort to me yet. So, I refuse to comment.”
When we spoke to Star India, they refused to speak on the matter. “No comment”, said the official spokesperson. Another official, though unwilling to be quoted, told us, “We don’t deny that we have received a legal document on this. But before we take any action or revert on this, we’ll check the authenticity of the allegation. We will not simply accept what someone is shouting from one corner of the world. We need some time to check what the issue is about.”