Popular music band Thaikkudam Bridge filed a lawsuit against the makers of Kannada film Kantara, alleging that there are unavoidable similarities between the film’s song ‘Varaha Roopam’ and the band’s ‘Navarasam’.

Varaha Roopam from Kantara (L) and singer Srinivas (R)Screengrab, Facebook/ Srinivas
Flix Controversy Friday, November 04, 2022 - 11:49

Commenting on the plagiarism lawsuit filed by popular music band Thaikkudam Bridge against the makers of the Kannada film Kantara, playback singer Srinivas said that the band should have resolved the issue with the makers of the song instead of taking a “fellow musician” to court. Srinivas made the observation in a Facebook post on Thursday, November 3. “[I] had the greatest respect for Thaikkudam Bridge but taking another fellow musician to court is not a graceful act for any artist,” he wrote. 

The singer, who has sung in all south Indian languages and Hindi, stated that it was not his intention to defend the makers of the Rishab Shetty-starrer film. However, Srinivas observed that both songs are based on Melakarta ragas (a collection of musical scales in Carnatic music). “‘Varaha Roopam’ may be inspired by Thaikkudam’s Navarasam (if so, the makers of that song must be man enough to pick up the phone and say that). But both the songs are based on the 72 Melakarta system. So are you going to give royalty to the relatives of the founder?” he wondered. 

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He also said that artists should resolve issues among themselves instead of taking each other to court. “The guitar riffs and the shruti of the song are certainly similar. But why create so much division and hate by going to court? Now it has become a right wing vs left wing fight. … Why don’t you leave the fighting to politicians and religious fundamentalists? As artists we must stay away from all this,” his post read. 

Thaikkudam Bridge filed a lawsuit against makers of Kantara earlier last month, alleging that there are “unavoidable similarities” between Kantara’s song ‘Varaha Roopam’ and the band’s intellectual property (IP) ‘Navarasam’. The  Principal District and Sessions Court, Kozhikode  barred the makers of Kantara from playing the song on October 29. Palakkad District Court also passed an injunction order directing the makers of the song to stop its streaming.

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Thaikkudam Bridge’s ‘Navarasam’ was a tribute to Kerala’s classical art form Kathakali and spoke about its commercialisation. ‘Varaha Roopam’ in Kantara depicts the beliefs and worship of Bhoota Aradhane in Dakshina Kannada. The film hit the big screens on September 30. Following its massive success across states, it was later dubbed in Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. 

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