Sandip Ssingh, the producer of the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday clarified that his team had used the songs of lyricists Javed Akhtar and Sameer in the film and so had added their names to the credits.
Akhtar and Sameer had on Friday denied writing songs for the upcoming film, PM Narendra Modi. The credits in the trailer of the film shows their names along with other lyricists – Prasoon Joshi, Abhendra Kumar Upadhyay, Sardaraa and Parry G Lavraj.
“We have taken the songs ‘Ishwar Allah’ from the film 1947: Earth and the song ‘Suno Gaur Se Duniya Walon’ from the film Dus in our film, thus we have given the due credits to respective lyricists Javed Sahab and Sameer Ji,” Ssingh, who is also the creative director and story writer, said on Twitter.
Ishwar Allah is from Deepa Mehta’s Earth (1998), which is set against the Partition. The song, composed by AR Rahman, is a tribute to communal harmony, and asks the gods, why, “when their hearts are so large, is there such narrowness among humans”.
“Am shocked to find my name on the poster of this film,” Akhtar wrote on Twitter on Friday, attaching a screengrab of the credits from the trailer. “Have not written any songs for it.”
Lyricist Sameer said that he called Akhtar after reading his tweet and told him that he had also not worked on the project. “I don’t understand what they are crediting me for,” Sameer told MidDay. “Even if the makers have used any of my old songs, the music label should be aware. But in this case, they too are clueless. On my part, I tried calling Omung Kumar [director] and Sandeep Ssingh, but their phones were switched off. What they have done is incorrect. They need to rectify it soon.”
The film features Vivek Oberoi as Narendra Modi through various stages of his life – including his early years with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and his long stint as chief minister of Gujarat – leading up to his party’s victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
PM Narendra Modi will be released on April 5, a week before the elections begin on April 11. Several political parties have alleged that the film violates the Model Code of Conduct, which has been in effect since March 10.