Updated April 26th, 2024 at 13:26 IST

Lyricist Raj Shekhar Says Indian Cinema Writers 'Don’t Have Fair Contracts'

Highlighting the problem, lyricist Raj Shekhar said they don't have a tradition of "fair contracts" in India and SWA is currently working on the issue.

A file photo of Raj Shekhar. | Image:Raj Shekhar/Instagram
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Shooting of new movies and TV shows, along with other production work, was put on hold in Hollywood for almost five months owing to  Sag-AFTRA. The writers voiced their concerns regarding working conditions and contracts. They called off the strike in November after their deal was taken into consideration. When asked lyricist Raj Shekhar if such a strike could happen in India, he replied that the Screenwriters Association (SWA) is working towards the issues highlighted by the writers.

SWA is a body of Indian screenwriters and lyricists working for the rights of the writers in Indian cinema.

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Raj Shekhar says 'We don’t have a tradition of fair contracts'

In an interview with DNA, Raj Shekhar, who is also part of the association, shared that they are raising important aspects of their work credit and remuneration. Highlighting the problem, he said that in India, they don't have a tradition of "fair contracts". Elaborating it, he revealed that several times 50-year-old contracts have been continuing in a production house. It was neither changed nor amended. So, "SWA’s most important endeavour is in getting that fair contract, which does not slant towards anyone, neither the producers nor the writers,” he added

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(A file photo of Raj Shekhar | Image: Instagram)

Will India ever see a strike of writers?

When asked if writers from across the Indian film industries can ever go on strike. The lyricist said that he hopes that day never come. Reasoning why people go on strike, he added that when a person feels there are a lot of things one is unable to communicate to another person, then they take up such steps. However, he assured the writers that the way SWA is working now, he is hopeful that things will move positively. He concluded by saying that communication is key to resolving all the problems, so it is better to talk out the things.

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(A file photo of Raj Shekhar | Image: Instagram)

Raj Shekhar's comments have come amid the recent ruling by the Madras High Court that legendary composer Ilaiyaraaja cannot claim sole ownership of songs. The legal battle between the private recording company Echo and Ilaiyaraaja concluded on Wednesday, April 24. The court stated that he could not be the sole owner of the song and questioned what would happen if the lyricists or singers requested ownership as well, as they are also integral in the making of a song. 

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Published April 26th, 2024 at 13:26 IST