Kailash Kher claims copyright infringement for Lord Shiva song

While preparations for a three-day extravaganza in Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath‘s home city Gorakhpur are underway, here’s a development that might cause some embarrassment to the organizers. Singer Kailash Kher has alleged that the theme song for the festival violates copyright norms, with the tune and some part of the lyrics being similar to his song Adiyogi.

Kailash’s song has been penned by Prasoon Joshi and was performed at the Maha Shivratri celebrations last February at the Isha Yoga Center in Coimbatore. The song Nath Yogi, for the Gorakhpur Mahotsav, is penned by Vimal Bawra and sung by Pranay Singh.

Kailash Kher says that he was shocked to learn from his team Sunday morning that “our popular song has been lifted to create a song for another prestigious event.”

He adds, “In India, intellectual property rights are taken very casually. In the West, violation of copyright law is a serious offence. When such a thing happens, you feel cheated. The reason why no one is scared of copying someone else’s creation is that they think they can easily get away with it. It is also lack of awareness and education about copyright laws that there are so many people violating them.”

The singer-composer says that he is soon going to have a meeting with his legal team regarding the case and will decide on what steps should be taken. He adds that if need be, he will speak to UP CM Yogi Adityanath about this.

“People should be informed and aware about how bad it is to copy someone else’s original creation, one should follow rules and take permission. If need be, I will also speak to Yogi Adityanathji, maybe he is not aware of what has been done in his name. The song has been created to glorify his name, chori kar ke kisi ko kuch dena ya chori ki maala kisi aur ke gale me daal dena ye to galat hai. Yogi Adityanathji is a good administrator and he should be aware of something like this,” says Kailash.

When we reached out to Sanjay Mishra, music arranger and the owner of Riya Music Studio, the Varanasi-based music company that created the song for Gorakhpur Mahotsav, says that he has never even heard of Kher’s Adiyogi. “I have never heard of Kailash Kher’s song, so how can the question of copying his song arise? I have composed the song in raag Brindavani Sarang, that could be the reason why both the songs sound the same. Nobody owns the raag. Since the Gorakhnath Math has a tradition of Nath, so we have used ‘Nath Yogi’ in the lyrics.” Lyricist Vimal Bawra calls it a coincidence. “It is coincidence that the two songs are based on the word ‘Adiyogi’ that is often used to describe Lord Shiva. The other point is that no one can claim a copyright on any raag, raags are universal,” he insists.

 The Gorakhpur Mahotsav is to be held from January 11-13 to promote tourism and local traditions. A Bhojpuri night and a Bollywood night are part of the event and many celebrities will reportedly perform during the event.
 
— With inputs from Meera.Vohra@timesgroup.com

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