Of late, lyricist Manoj Muntashir has been in the news after he was accused of plagiarism. It was alleged that he plagiarised the song 'Teri Mitti' from Akshay Kumar's film Kesari from a Pakistani folk song. Apart from this, it is also being reported that the poem ‘Mujhe Call Karna’ from his book, ‘Meri Fitrat Hai Mastana’ is very similar to that of writer Robert Lavery’s creation from 2007.
While, Manoj Muntashir denied the accusations about the song saying he'd quit work if these allegations are proven right, on Thursday, he took to his YouTube channel to share a video answering all burning questions about him and the plagiarism row.
Stating that all artists are inspired by someone or the other, Muntashir said, “None of my creations are 100% original.” Continuing further he added that many of his previous works have also been inspired by other writers as well.
“Momin’s lines inspired one paragraph of the song 'Teri Galiyan', 'Tere Sang Yara' was inspired by Firakh Gorakhpuri’s couplets, and my own song 'Teri Mitti' has been translated in so many languages but I do not think my name was credited anywhere,” he explained.
Talking about 'Mujhe Call Karna', Muntashir compared it to a millionaire being accused of a robbery for Rs 200, saying, it's inconsequential to his success as to why he'd plagiarise something when he has many other popular creations of his own.
To make his point, he also said that content in the public domain is open for interpretation. Explaining the same, he said AR Rahman's 'Maa Tujhe Salmaam' was inspired by Bakin Chandra Chatterjee's Vande Matram and hence he doesn't need to credit him for the same. Same was the case with “Robert Lavry’s writing which inspired him for his poem. He also affirmed that in the new edition of his book 'Meri Fitrat Hai MAstana' he will credit Lavry for inspiring him for the poem.
He also spoke about 'Teri Mitti', saying it was inspired by Kaifi Azmi's song 'Kar Chale Hum Fida' from the film Haqeeqat. "I have shared this in several interviews too because I want the new writers to know about this and learn. I don't want to sit back and call myself a legend or a genius and not share things with others."
Giving more clarity he also addressed the controversy when it was alleged that 'Teri Mitti' is a rip-off of a folk song which went viral on social media. He said that the alleged video by Geeta Rabri is available on YouTube and was released months after the 'Kesari' song.
You can watch the video here: