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Dire condition of veteran lyricist Santosh Anand goes viral after his appearance on Indian Idol

Music personalities and Indian Idol judges Neha Kakkar and Vishal Dadlani step forward to help the writer of the song 'Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai'.

Our Correspondent

People from the film fraternity as well as the audience learnt of the plight of yesteryear Hindi film lyricist Santosh Anand after he appeared as a guest on the latest episode of the 12th season of the singing reality show Indian Idol last evening.

A major portion of Santosh Anand’s work came in the 1970s and 1980s. He made a spectacular debut as a lyricist with Manoj Kumar’s iconic film Purab Aur Pacchim (1970) and went on to write songs for many other hits like Shor (1972), Roti Kapada Aur Makaan (1974), Kranti (1981), Pyaasa Sawan (1981) and Prem Rog (1982).

Despite the high he achieved decades ago, Santosh Anand has had a difficult life, struggling both financially and health-wise at the age of 81. Appearing on the show in a wheelchair, he narrated his tale to the viewers. He suffered emotional blows as well when his son and daughter-in-law died by suicide in 2014.

The veteran said, “Lord Ram blessed me and gave me a lot. How everything vanished and why Ramji’s blessings stopped is something I have never been able to understand.”

Moved by the condition of the veteran lyricist, singer Neha Kakkar, who is a judge on the show, announced a personal gift of Rs5 lakh to him and urged people to give him work so that he can survive. She also sang his famous song ‘Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai’ from Manoj Kumar's Shor, which made everyone on the show teary-eyed. 

Composer and judge Vishal Dadlani announced that he would set Santosh Anand’s unused songs to music to help him financially.

Following the episode, actress and politician Nagma shared her reaction on Twitter. “So touched to see Santosh Anandji on Indian Idol... He says, hosla nahin tuta hai tang tuti hai [my leg is broken, but not my spirit],” she wrote. 

Later, reflecting on the condition of Santosh Anand and others like him, Dadlani tweeted, “Is this the fate of artists whose work dries up and who don't have savings/income? In other countries, a lyricist who's written even one song as beloved as ‘Ek Pyaar Ka Naghma Hai’ would receive royalties for life!”

Touched by Santosh Anand’s story, lyricist Manoj Muntashir tweeted, “Bringing a legend back on stage in the public glare is a service that Indian Idol shall always be remembered for.”