For some, Kanika Kapoor’s recently released track ‘Buhe Bariyan’ may be a soulful rendition but what it has really done is put into light the harsh reality of Bollywood’s blatant disregard for music copyrights.
The song is originally from an album named “Roshni” released in 1999 by Pakistani singer Hadiqa Kiani. Based on poetic composition penned by her mother Khawar Kiani, the Punjabi folk song, ‘Boohey Bariyan’ spoke about breaking barriers and uniting with the lover.
Decades later it has been lavishly produced by renowned Indian label Saregama with music composed by Gourov Dasgupta and Shruti Rane and lyrics by Kunwar Juneja.
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Not finding a single mention of her name, Kiani vented on Instagram calling ‘Buhe Baariyan,’ a ‘shameless rendition’ of her song.
Hadiqa Kiani also mentioned that this is not the first time Pakistani artists’ music has been stolen by Bollywood without due credit. She expressed disappointment in Bollywood using songs of artists as a ‘money-making scheme.’ She wrote that her songs have been “stolen” multiple times and have even been picturized on big stars including Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta. She is appalled that nobody even took permission or paid her royalties. She acknowledges artists and singers who do cover videos on her song with due credits, but it is incredulous that a full-fledged production does not deem it fit to do so. She has no qualms against Kanika Kapoor but stresses that there is a right way of creating music and major production houses of India should acknowledge that.
Bollywood has always fumed over the prevalent piracy of movies from Pakistan, but the same ethics seem to disappear when it comes to copyright violations of music from Pakistani artists. A few years ago, a Twitter thread had gone viral, that listed the popular Bollywood songs which were simply lifted from Pakistani originals. Seems like this trend is unfortunately continuing.
For an industry that is known for serving entertainment via songs, there is a lack of inspiration to craft originals. Or maybe as Hadiqa Kiani points out, it has become a business, and ‘Buhe Baariyan’ is just another profiting product.
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