Things took an ugly turn when media reported that at a recent meeting between producers and writers over the issue of royalties, Aamir Khan said that a song’s popularity depends on the star it was pictured on and not on the lyricist’s efforts. This remark offended renowned writer Javed Akhtar who retorted by saying that the song Papa kehte hain became a hit despite the fact that Aamir was not a star at that time.
Media quoted this incident by saying that Aamir was trying to harm the writers by taking away credit from them. This hurt the perfectionist Khan who has now resigned from the 10-member committee formed by the government to look into the proposed amendments to the Copyright Act.
This is an excerpt from what Aamir wrote on Tuesday to Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal.
“It seems to me that there is an attempt by certain people to attack me in public by printing lies about me, thereby turning the attention away from a genuine debate about copyright issues.”.
“I am grateful to you for inviting me to be part of a committee to discuss the various issues regarding amendments to the Copyright Act. However in light of these public attacks on me I don’t think I am comfortable to be part of this committee.”
“I take great pride in my honesty and integrity, and attach an enormous amount of value to my sense of justice and fair play. Monetary achievements have never excited me. If they had, I would have acted in many more than one film a year, thereby being financially much richer than I currently am.”
“Had I been driven by monetary achievements I would not have produced films that challenge the mainstream and break new ground, films like Lagaan, Taare Zameen Par and Peepli Live, that most producers would hesitate to produce.
I believe that what I have earned is the love and respect of my colleagues and my audience. And this I have done through my work and through the manner in which I work. This is why such public attacks are most damaging to me emotionally and leave me crippled.”
“In the past 26 years of my involvement with the film industry, I may have made mistakes, but never have I knowingly been dishonest or unfair in my dealings, whether as an assistant director, actor, producer or director.”
“I feel I have a lot to contribute to the ongoing debate but I cannot make any meaningful contribution in this atmosphere. Aggression of this type leaves me feeling very disillusioned and sad and I am unable to function.”
“Therefore I request you to accept my resignation from this committee and please appoint another person in my place.”
“I believe that amendments to the Copyright Act are long overdue and I am so happy that a person like you is spearheading this movement. I believe that the changes that you are bringing about in the sphere of education are so dynamic, progressive and positive, that I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that you will do the same in the field of copyright.”