Bollywood, which has been trying to overcome its history of copying from the West, has pounced on composer Lalit Pandit, whose number “Love ki ghanti” for the film “Besharam” owes a lot to Italo tune “Bella Ciao.”
Pandit freely admits to having lifted the tune, saying the 1940s anti-fascist song was in the public domain.
“Well yeah, I know this,” he told the Times of India. “But I think it is only the starting part which is similar to ‘Bella Ciao.’ When Abhinav (Kashyap, director) gave me the brief, I told him about the Italian number and it fit the bill perfectly. I don’t think we have done anything wrong.”
Not if you heard the outcry from India media and bloggers who were crying as if this were the first instance of Indian tunes being lifted from elsewhere.
“Besharam,” which ironically means “without shame” in Hindi, stars Ranbir Kapoor and is to be released Oct. 2 in India by Reliance.