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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Excuse me Mr Kandasamy ~ oru coffee : pallavi and saranam litigation

Music is divine – it is the echo of the idiosyncracies and mental state of its producers.  The marvellous complexities and the ability of trained musician to infuse his individuality by almost endless variations is the spirit of Indian music ~ the Shastriya Sangeet, better known as Carnatic music.   The music of this Nation is thousands of years old.  The divine music is intricate and it is a science that cannot be excelled by any creation of human mind.  Like all old branches of learning, it is based upon the religious faiths, observances, legends and traditions of the country, depicting the social manners and customs of the people, in the history of the tunes, and words of the song.

Carnatic music [Karnataka sangeetham] the soul-stirring type is  commonly associated with the southern India including the modern states Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, and alson Sri Lanka.  Although there are stylistic differences, the basic elements of śruti, swara, rāga and tala  form the foundation.   The carnatic compositions are master-pieces that have Pallavi, Anupallavi and Saranam.  Pallavi the commencement of the song like a budding leaf; anu pallavi is furtherance and Saranam literally means reaching the divine State, the ultimate goal. 

Super hero, unearthing of black money, doing good to depraved in the name of God, super computing, hacking – many of the Hollywood ideas were put inside the entertaining film of Shankar with Vikram in lead role – a movie of hero reaching out to poor and needy people who still crave for a square meal from out of enormous riches of super rich a la Robinhood was ‘Kanthasamy’… .. ..the film taking  reference to the famous Murugan Temple at Thiruporur (at the other end of the OMR) – where thousands of people tie piece of paper containing their wish –  ...... on the tree (sthalavriksham), a tradition followed in many villages.   People firmly believe that God would answer the prayers and in 2009 released film in which Vadivelu’s comedy tickled bones – was a great hit !

Of the many songs, there was this no. ‘ Excuse me Mr. Kandasamy, oru coffee kudipoam, come with me ’  - there seemingly rhyme but not much of literary meaning .. .. yet this song achieved some notoriety following a controversy soon after its release when an advocate V. Elango claimed that he had written five lines of the song !  The song featuring Vikram and Shriya – today’s the Hindu reports,  has partially emerged out of the seven-year legal battle, as its director, producer, and music director have recently won a criminal case in the Madras High Court against an advocate, who claimed to have penned a few lines of the song.

The song had run into a controversy soon after its release when an advocate V. Elango claimed that he had written five lines of the song and alleged that director Susi Ganesan, producer Kalaipuli S. Thanu and music director Devi Sri Prasad of the film used the song as if it was composed by someone else and released the film. While he lodged a private complaint before VII Metropolitan Magistrate at George Town here for an offence under various sections of the Copyright Act, 1957 and the Indian Penal Code, the film director, producer and music director moved the High Court against it.

Allowing their plea, Justice P.N. Prakash said it was not the case of the complainant that he had composed the song in its entirety, but only five lines. “This (lines penned by the advocate) is only pallavi and not saranam. The whole song will have saranam, which will be the crux of the lyrics, the pallavi being the frills. Viewed from that perspective, in the considered opinion of this court, the present prosecution launched by the complainant (advocate) is surely an abuse of process of law.” The judge quashed the prosecution pending on the file of the VII Metropolitan Magistrate Court against the director, producer, and the music director of the film.

However, a civil suit filed by the advocate in the High Court against the director, producer and the music director for a declaration that he alone was entitled to exploit all the rights in respect of the lyrics is still pending. Incidentally, a single judge had in 2009 said that there was prima facie material to show that the complainant had composed the pallavi portion and a Division Bench directed the producer to show the name of the advocate V. Elango as lyricist in the rolling titles in respect of the pallavi under dispute in the bracket of the song starting ‘Excuse me Mr. Kandasamy’

S0, the song is not music to ears, for these people litigating on pallavi and saranam.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Oct 2016

News source : The Hindu of date.

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