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'Genda Phool' plagiarism row: No wish to steal glory, says Badshah; offers help to Bengali folk singer Ratan Kahar

'Boro Loker Biti Lo', which is part of the 'Genda Phool' number, has originally been written, composed and sung by Ratan Kahar. 

Roushni Sarkar

Rapper Badshah has announced that he would help low-profile Bengali folk singer Ratan Kahar, the original composer and lyricist of the song 'Boro Loker Biti Lo', from which two lines were used in his latest track, 'Genda Phool'.

The release of the music video, which features actress Jacqueline Fernandez, was greeted with claims of plagiarism against the rapper from music lovers in Bengal across social media platforms.

While the credits for the 'Genda Phool' number mention Badshah as the composer for the parts rendered by him and Payal Dev, the Bengali lyrics have been simply credited to ‘Bengali folk song’.

On 31 March, Badshah posted on Instagram that the copyright of the song 'Boro Loker Biti Lo' had not been attributed to any particular artiste and had been mentioned as a Bengali folk song. He also clarified that 'for general information, traditional songs are open for recreations, reprises, sampling globally'.



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'Genda Phool' was released on 26 March on YouTube and netizens took to social media, demanding credit for Kahar, who first recorded the song for All India Radio, now part of the Prasar Bharati Corporation, in 1972. Later, singer Swapna Chakraborty recorded the song and released an album without giving due credit to Kahar.

Cinematographer Kaushik Mondal recently made a YouTube video in which Kahar can be seen singing the song. While speaking to The Times of India, an English daily, Kahar said, “This song has been written, rendered and composed by me. But the sad part is that I didn’t get any recognition for it. I still regret that no one from the literary world, not a single person, backed me during my fight to get recognition. This is injustice since Swapna Chakraborty became so popular after this song.”

However, the veteran singer also mentioned that he did not have the financial means to sue Badshah for plagiarism. But it is his wish that he gets due credit for the song after so many years.

While the debate on the original composer ragesn, Badshah clarified that he had no wish to steal glory from anyone, as he is an admirer of Indian folk culture. He claimed that he was unaware about Kahar before the song was recorded and released. However, he now wishes to extend his help to the veteran artiste on humanitarian grounds, as Kahar officially does not hold a copyright on the song.