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Indian Values Need To Be Inculcated In Children From The Very Beginning: Javed Akhtar, Chairman, IPRS

In a tet-a-tet with Priyaankaa Mathur of BW Businessworld, Javed Akhtar, Chairman, IPRS proactively appeals to inculcate traditional values in children from the very young age

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What are the key challenges that are hampering the growth of the Indian Music Industry and what is the way ahead?

I see great opportunities and a few challenges. If we see, the last two hundred years became pathbreaking for the mankind in terms of technological development. Similarly, last two years have been the most important years for the Indian Music Industry, as it saw some major changes because of which it today thrives towards reaching its full potential. Today, we all work together, the stakeholders, labels, producers and the artists, and with the support of the governments both current and previous, the bill came in existence that changed the scenario, that could not have happened without their patronage. I would like to appeal to all Indian Music Industry professionals and all the stakeholders to stay united, since this is the only way ahead to make Indian music Industry climb the ladder on the global music scenario from where it stands today at No.19.

Piracy has become one of the biggest menaces that the industry faces today, what are the proactive measures being taken to fight it?

Technology is moving ahead with leaps and bounds, and before you get accustomed to a technology, a new technology arrives. The industry is investing billions of dollars and the doors are opening, but we don't have a watchman to check it as everytime the law becomes outdated, so people take advantage. The need of the hour is to update our laws in congruence with the growing technological advancements so that people don't take advantage and break them. We all need to stay united, so that the governments and the judiciary can grant us the support we seek, to fight those who infringe the laws.

Where do you see the role of artists in the Indian Music Industry? 

The real stakeholders are the creative people and the artists of the industry who create music. We need to provide them with the right position and the right shares that they deserve that will make this industry more powerful. The goodwill an artist commands in any society across the world is unparalleled. It's the poet, a musician or an artist that connects to a better side or the most sensitive side of a human being. At any point of time whenever the society or the government has needed them, the artists have always stood by them, in the midst of any political crises, wars, oppositions, helping the society. This is one power that cannot be substituted and is too precious to be lost.

Being an ace lyricist and also the chairman of IPRS, don't you see a huge void towards propagation of Indian classical music, ghazal etc. is minimal and how can these be brought in the system? 

I think we need to inculcate Indian values in children from the very beginning. From a very young age, children need to be exposed to Indian music, traditional arts and that needs to be a part of school curriculums, so that children develop a taste to appreciate Indian music, ghazals, and other genres of music.

Why is Indian music industry dominated by Bollywood music and not regional music forms? 

Indian music industry is dominated with Bollywood because it sells, and it has more buyers and that's how the business works. To bring change, the society needs to show a significant urge to listen to other genres too and that needs to be inculcated from a very young age amongst our children and the youth. If our arts, traditional and regional music is given patronage and encouragement from the society, the Indian music industry will definitely be forced to do it. It is the responsibility of the society to tell the seller what they want to buy.


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