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Mochi is not a derogatory word: Aaja Nachle lyricist

December 01, 2007 11:47 IST
Piyush Mishra, the lyricist of Aaja Nach Le, is surprised and shocked at the ban imposed by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Madhuri Dixit's comeback movie, allegedly because of certain casteist lyrics in the title song.

Mishra, who hails from Gwalior, points out that the song has been played on radio stations and TV channels innumerable times till now, so why was the objection raised only after the movie's release.

"If they had some objections, they could have raised it when the promos were being aired. Why stir up a controversy now when the film has been released?" queried Mishra.

Stressing that he had not intended to hurt the sentiments of certain castes through his lyrics, Mishra said, "I am a responsible writer and lyricist. I wrote the word mochi (cobbler) and it is not a derogatory word. In fact, chammar is a derogatory word and I have never used it."

Mayawati has termed the lyrics of the title track Bazaar Mein Machi Hai Maar, Bole Mochi Bhi Khud Ko Sunar as casteist.

This line has upset some Dalit organisations as they feel that an unfavourable comparison is being drawn between the backward caste Mochi community and the upper caste Sunar community.

Meanwhile, director Anil Mehta said that the line has been deleted as soon as the objections were raised and now the song is being played across theatres without that particular line.

 "The situation for the song is set in a small town India. I have lived in many small towns of India and I have seen people all over the place. It is just that my words have been taken out of context and blown out of proportion," said Mishra.

Mishra, a theatre actor, moved to Mumbai in 2003 from Gwalior. He has acted in films like Shah Rukh Khan starrer Dil se and Vishal Bharadwaj's Maqbool, in which he played the right hand man of Abbaji (Pankaj Kapur).

He has also penned the screenplay and dialogues of Ajay Devgan starrer Legend of Bhagat Singh and Jimmy Shergill's Yahaan.

Actors Manoj Bajpai, N K Sharma, and director Imtiyaz Ali of Jab We Met fame are his close friends.  

"I have worked as a theatre actor and traveled all over India. I know the caste equations and I will never do anything to hurt the sentiments of people," said Mishra

Speaking about the controversy, the writer rued, "Now, every writer will have to rethink his liberty of creative expression. We don't want to hurt anybody's sentiments but people want to make an issue out of a non-issue. It is sad."

Asked whether he will he be careful about his writings in the future, Mishra quipped, "I feel it is better if I stick to acting rather than writing so that I am away from any kind of controversy."

Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai