harmful music

Arijit Singh vs Salman Khan is a case of when singers get their tuning wrong

Before Arijit Singh wrote an apology letter to Salman Khan, Mohammed Rafi wrote one to Lata Mangeshkar.

On May 25, singer Arijit Singh removed his apology letter to Salman Khan from his Facebook account and replaced it with the message, “I hope he gets my letter through someway. Ps. This whole thing will backfire at me I know. Prayers.”

Singh seems to have had a premonition. Salman Khan remained silent, thus fuelling rumours that he was responsible for Singh's exclusion from a song in his upcoming film Sultan (2016) and his replacement with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

Arijit Singh had taken to the social media platform to reach out to the star who reportedly felt slighted at the singer’s remarks at an awards function in 2014. Singh was receiving an award from Khan when he said, “Aap logon ne toh sula diya (You put us to sleep)” referring to the show’s hosts –Khan and Riteish Deshmukh. Khan retorted, “Aur isme humara koi dosh nahi hai, agar aise gaane bajte rahenge (And it’s not our fault if you sing like this). Salman Khan then went on to hum the tune of “Tum Hi Ho”, a popular song Singh had sung in Aashiqui 2 (2013).

Play
‘Tum Hi Ho’.

In his apology letter, Singh had requested Khan to retain the song he sang for Sultan. The issue brings to light the ability of superstars such as Khan to potentially derail the careers of those who have slighted them. Singh isn’t the only singer to have earned Khan’s ire. In 2014, Khan had a run-in with AR Rahman. He called Rahman an “average composer” at a music event. Rahman clarified that Khan’s statement was a joke, and said that he was offered to compose for Khan's films. Rahman hasn’t taken up the job yet.

In 2015, Sonu Nigam allegedly had a verbal spat with the temperamental Khan over singing credits. The actor told Nigam that he could do his own playback singing, and proved it with the auto-tuned “Main Hoon Hero Tera” for the film Hero (2015).

Not all singers submit to such bullying. Unlike Singh, who has been profusely apologising to Khan, singer Abhijeet vowed never to sing for Shah Rukh Khan after he was not featured in the credits of Om Shanti Om (2007). Ironically, Abhijeet had won his only Filmfare Best Male Playback award for the song “Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaaon” in the Shah Rukh Khan starrer Yes Boss (1997). Abhijeet is equally vocal in his tirade against Pakistani singers working in the Hindi film music industry, intemperately calling them “dengue artists”.

Performing artistes have also had their fair share of controversies with filmmakers and composers that have put a strain on their working relationship and hampered their collaborations. In 1996, singer Alisha Chinai accused music director Anu Malik of sexual harassment. In return, he filed a defamation suit against her. In 2003, the two reconciled and she sang “Chot Dil Pe Lagi” (Bruised in the heart) for him in the film Ishq Vishq. It was the salve they needed.

Play
‘Chot Dil Pe Lagi’.

For Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), director Karan Johar hired three music composers, Sandesh Shandilya, Aadesh Shrivastava and Jatin-Lalit. It was an unusual strategy at a time when multi-composer soundtracks were not the norm. Jatin-Lalit did not take kindly to the inclusion of other composers because they had previously scored Johar’s debut film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and delivered a resounding hit. The brothers expressed their displeasure and Johar declared he would never use them again.

Music director Ismail Darbar who won a National Film Award as Best Music Director for his very first score for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999), had a fall-out with the filmmaker after the success of Devdas (2002). Darbar’s on-off comments about the filmmaker ensured that the two never worked again. Darbar’s music too has found few takers since, while Bhansali composed the music of his films Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ramleela (2013) and Bajirao Mastani (2015).

Play
The title track ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’.

One singer-composer who has a love-hate relationship with several artistes in the music fraternity is Himesh Reshammiya. There is a laundry list of complaints to be read out. But nothing quite as delightful as the war of words over royalties between singers Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi in 1960. The incident is also mentioned in the book Mohammed Rafi: My Abba A Memoir written by Rafi’s daughter-in-law Yasmin Khalid Rafi.

The singing titans were present at a meeting where Lata Mangeshkar was campaigning for singers to receive royalty for their songs, she recalls in an interview. Rafi opposed the move. He said “Main aaj se Lata ke saath nahin gaoonga” (I will not sing with Lata henceforth). She replied, “Rafi saab, ek minute. Aap nahin gaayenge mere saath yeh galat baat hai. Main aapke saath nahin gaoongee. (You won’t sing with me is a wrong statement. I will not sing with you). Rafi wrote an apology letter and the duets resumed. Perhaps Arijit Singh retracted his apology letter just in time.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Changing the conversation around mental health in rural India

Insights that emerged from discussions around mental health at a village this World Mental Health Day.

Questioning is the art of learning. For an illness as debilitating as depression, asking the right questions is an important step in social acceptance and understanding. How do I open-up about my depression to my parents? Can meditation be counted as a treatment for depression? Should heartbreak be considered as a trigger for deep depression? These were some of the questions addressed by a panel consisting of the trustees and the founder of The Live Love Lough Foundation (TLLLF), a platform that seeks to champion the cause of mental health. The panel discussion was a part of an event organised by TLLLF to commemorate World Mental Health Day.

According to a National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), common mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders affect nearly 10% of the population, with 1 in 20 people in India suffering from depression. The survey reported a huge treatment gap, a problem that is spread far and wide across urban and rural parts of the country.

On 10th of October, trustees of the foundation, Anna Chandy, Dr. Shyam Bhat and Nina Nair, along with its founder, Deepika Padukone, made a visit to a community health project centre in Devangere, Karnataka. The project, started by The Association of People with Disability (APD) in 2010, got a much-needed boost after partnering with TLLLF 2 years ago, helping them reach 819 people suffering from mental illnesses and spreading its program to 6 Taluks, making a difference at a larger scale.

Play

During the visit, the TLLLF team met patients and their families to gain insights into the program’s effectiveness and impact. Basavaraja, a beneficiary of the program, spoke about the issues he faced because of his illness. He shared how people used to call him mad and would threaten to beat him up. Other patients expressed their difficulty in getting access to medical aid for which they had to travel to the next biggest city, Shivmoga which is about 2 hours away from Davangere. A marked difference from when TLLLF joined the project two years ago was the level of openness and awareness present amongst the villagers. Individuals and families were more expressive about their issues and challenges leading to a more evolved and helpful conversation.

The process of de-stigmatizing mental illnesses in a community and providing treatment to those who are suffering requires a strong nexus of partners to make progress in a holistic manner. Initially, getting different stakeholders together was difficult because of the lack of awareness and resources in the field of mental healthcare. But the project found its footing once it established a network of support from NIMHANS doctors who treated the patients at health camps, Primary Healthcare Centre doctors and the ASHA workers. On their visit, the TLLLF team along with APD and the project partners discussed the impact that was made by the program. Were beneficiaries able to access the free psychiatric drugs? Did the program help in reducing the distance patients had to travel to get treatment? During these discussions, the TLLLF team observed that even amongst the partners, there was an increased sense of support and responsiveness towards mental health aid.

The next leg of the visit took the TLLLF team to the village of Bilichodu where they met a support group that included 15 patients and caregivers. Ujjala Padukone, Deepika Padukone’s mother, being a caregiver herself, was also present in the discussion to share her experiences with the group and encouraged others to share their stories and concerns about their family members. While the discussion revolved around the importance of opening up and seeking help, the team brought about a forward-looking attitude within the group by discussing future possibilities in employment and livelihood options available for the patients.

As the TLLLF team honoured World Mental Health day, 2017 by visiting families, engaging with support groups and reviewing the successes and the challenges in rural mental healthcare, they noticed how the conversation, that was once difficult to start, now had characteristics of support, openness and a positive outlook towards the future. To continue this momentum, the organisation charted out the next steps that will further enrich the dialogue surrounding mental health, in both urban and rural areas. The steps include increasing research on mental health, enhancing the role of social media to drive awareness and decrease stigma and expanding their current programs. To know more, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of The Live Love Laugh Foundation and not by the Scroll editorial team.