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‘Kantara’ To Be Sued Over Copyright Infringement? Band Claims ‘Varaha Roopam’ Was Copied

Rishabh Shetty’s blockbuster Kantara, which contains Varaha Roopam one of its songs, has stirred up controversy. Thaikkudam Bridge, a multi-genre band from Kerala, claims the creators plagiarised Navarasam without giving them proper acknowledgment.

The band released a statement about it on social media. Intimating “infringement of copyright law” and announcing their intention to file legal action against the members of Kantara and its producers, Hombale Films, and Thaikkudam Bridge, they alluded to similarities between the now-famous song from Kantara, “Varaha Roopam,” and their 2017 tune, “Navarasam.”

The band posted an image of Varaha Roopam’s movie poster next to their song’s album cover, saying, “We and our partner want our fans to be aware that Thaikkudam Bridge is not in any way associated with Kantara. Therefore, there has been a flagrant violation of copyright rules due to the unavoidable auditory similarities between Varaha Roopam and our intellectual property, Navarasam. ” Additionally, they added, “From our perspective, the distinction between “inspired” and “plagiarised” is clear and unmistakable, hence we will be taking legal action against the creative team in question. Our ownership has not been acknowledged, and the song is and it been promoted as an original work by the film.”

The accusations come after days of social media discussion about Kantara’s attempted incorporation of the coastal Karnataka region’s bhootakola tradition into Vedic, Brahminical Hinduism.

Kannada actor Kishore, who plays a forest officer in the movie Kantara, urged people in an Instagram post titled “Kantara and Dharma” on October 24, 2022, to not let “Dharma” distort the folk gods and customs of Dakshina Kannada.

The actor begged his audience to reflect before “falling prey to the brokers of hatred, who have already hijacked the national song, flag, logo, and poets,” taking offence to those who use the movie to “incite superstition” and “split people.” He cautioned against becoming “pawns of intolerant politics,” praising Kantara for “uniting the people of the country beyond the limits of caste, religion, and language.”

A FIR was filed on October 23 against Chethan Ahimsa, another Kannada actor, for allegedly insulting and hurting the feelings of a community with his remarks on Kantara. Chethan had written in a tweet, “Glad our Kannada film ‘Kantara’ is creating buzz on a national scale. Bhoota Kola, according to director Rishabh Shetty, is “Hindu culture.” False. Vedic-Brahminical Hinduism predates the Bahujan traditions of our Pambada/Nalike/Parawa. We demand accurate depictions of Moolnivasi culture both on and off the screen.

The police charged Chetan with violating Section 505 (2) of the IPC in response to a complaint made by one Shivakumar from Shankarapuram. In his complaint, Shivakumar claimed that Chetan’s remarks would incite communal strife and damage religious feelings. Chetan has been charged with a crime twice this year.

Ahir Mitra
Ahir Mitra
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