Does Aamir have no ethics?

There was a time when I was one of Aamir Khan’s big fan. I still am a fan of Aamir the actor, and the films he’s done this past decade (save 3 Idiots which I personally did not like at all) are some of the best films of the decade, with Lagaan and Dil Chahta Hai probably finding a place in the top 100 Bollywood films of all time as well.

But as a person, Aamir has begun disappointing me with every passing day. One keeps hearing of different stories about his high-handedness, rudeness and condescension. When the Chetan Bhagat incident happened, many Aamir fans refused to accept that Bhagat was right. I am not saying Bhagat is a saint, but in that incident it was clear, if we chose to rise above our admiration for a star, that Aamir & Co. were clearly wrong.

If anybody had any doubt that Aamir had no respect for writers, then what has been revealed today should put it all to rest. A couple of days ago, this news had appeared-
Bollywood A-list actor allegedly plots copyright amendment sabotage

I wondered who the A-list actor that they were referring to was. And today, I sadly learnt that it is none other than Aamir Khan- an actor I loved, still do…but a person I question.
Javed Akhtar and Aamir Khan had a heated altercation when the actor tried to dismiss the contribution of writers and lyricists, saying that it’s the star who makes a song successful

Doesn’t Aamir Khan realize that the films that he’s been a part of were written first before he acted in them? Why doesn’t he want them to have a share of the pie as well? Isn’t film-making a collaboration of many artists and people? Oh well, that is something that Scorsese said. Aamir Khan will never have the grace of Scorsese, I suppose!

48 Comments

  1. Doga said:

    Yes Aamir has single minded dedication for his craft and art, he does the best and he is great in whatever he does, thus the humongous success he has been seeing( back to back ATBB’s), call it whatever, shrewdness, smartness etc.

    This cut throat business calls out for all this, if you want to have good nature etc you will be always having couple of flops in your kitty and cutting 200 cr celebration cakes for others (as Salman did for Aamir).

    Yes Aamir has no ethics. ;)

  2. rks said:

    Passed judgment based on media report? May be true but can not be substantiated?

    A R Rahman begins another era – (original article in Mid-day)

    “On the other hand, Rahman has succeeded in getting a share of the publishing rights for Aamir Khan’s next film, directed by Abbas Tyrewalla. “I met Aamir and he understood what I wanted in an instant. It could be because Tyrewalla’s film is a small budget venture, unlike Farah’s, which is a biggie,” Rahman says.”

  3. rks said:

    I posted this during 3 Idiots controversy –

    “Employees are routinely required to sign agreements by which they assign all intellectual property to employers — would the employee’s ability to claim moral rights in the use of the employer’s intellectual property not work to reduce the price that the employee can get for his/ her efforts?”

    Some points about rights

  4. lalsub said:

    That’s a horribly abusive title , not quite right and revealing the blogger’s bias against the actor. Questiioning Aamir’s ethics is like questioning SRK’s patriotism. NOT DONE.

    Here is a piece of news from a couple of days back.

    http://www.ptinews.com/news/517110_Govt-sets-up-panel-to-examine-copyright-issues

    New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) Facing opposition from certain sections of film fraternity over the proposed amendment to Copyright Act, the Government today set up a panel of experts, including Bollywood star Aamir Khan, to examine the issue and submit a report.

    HRD Minister Kapil Sibal set up a ten-member committee comprising film actor Aamir Khan, producer Mukesh Bhatt, lyricist Javed Akhtar, script writer Anjum, director Vishal Bharadwaj among others.

    The committee was formed today after a delegation of film fraternity met Sibal in Mumbai and aired their concerns over the proposed amendment to the Act which will mandate users to pay royalty to the creator for use everytime, a senior HRD Ministry official said.

    The representatives of the film fraternity were of the view that the proposed amendments will affect certain loss-making ventures which were using the material which have already been available in the market.

  5. lalsub said:

    And as for that article in Mumbai Mirror, the one which wrote about the altercation between Javed Akhtar and Aamir Khan–it was authored by Subhash.K.Jha.

    Enough said.

    I am not taking aamir’s side in this matter. But to paint him a villian in this manner is not quite right. In various interviews Aamir has spoken up for writers and lyricists. He too has talked about film making being a team effort. To paint him as an unethical Shylock–it’s not right.

  6. Ihab said:

    The article only put up quotes by Javed Akhtar during the arguement..
    How am I supposed to believe stuff like
    ““Aamir made it clear that he felt a song becomes a hit because it is picturised on a big star.”
    “When Aamir again insisted that it’s the star who makes a bigger contribution to a song becoming a hit,”
    “But when Aamir went a step further to claim that in any film, a writer contributes more than a song-writer to the film” when they havent quoted Aamir Khan?
    THe “source” cleverly only quotes Javed Khan but doesnt do that for Aamir.

    The article is biased and is one sided. Its very clear. I am not supporting Aamir on this but they havent even put up proper quotes for god sakes.

  7. ideaunique said:

    MM has neck of reporting such notorious articles – but if u read last couple of lines, usually they use the word “our sources….” and some such shit…

  8. Ihab said:

    Now coming to the topic, Both Javed and Aamir have a point. I dont think songs like “Chiggy Wiggy” “Dan te Nan” “Dard E disco” “Zoobi Doobi” “Twist hi Twist” and countless others songs became famous becoz of “lyrics”. They become hit because of Stars in it and the music/song was good to hear. On the other hand, there are songs like “Dil Toh Bachcha Hai jee” etc which are hit because of soothing lyrics.

    Also, “Chaiyya Chaiyya” became famous becoz of its “lyrics” or because of SRK dancing on the train?

  9. Rocky said:

    Abzee please don’t let your dislike for certain Aamir Fans make you write such provocative titles. you can and we deserve better than this from you.

  10. Rocky said:

    Saket Chaudhry-

    http://twitter.com/sakiboy

    let me assue u that Aamir is very much on our side don’t believe every moron who writes in a paper

    was at that meeting the angle to the story given was wrong it was a discussion in which a lot of opinions were put across

    have great respect for aamir and javed saab where both had the balls to put forward their opposing POV’s in an open forum unlike most B’wood

    obviously they will its unfortunate the whole issue has been reduced to a clash of personalities, someone do a proper story

  11. Rocky said:

    Cont…

    its was a meeting organized by HRD ministry to discuss work relations between creatives and film producers 4 ppl interested in the HRD initiative on a new partnership between writers, lyricists, composers and producers http://digs.by/1QXX

  12. JustaFan said:

    Yes..he obviously has no ethics since:

    - he is the one who started the whole Chetan Bhagat controversy.
    - did not give ANY credit to Amul Gupte for TZP.
    - was all over the climax in RDB..not letting any of his co-stars share it with him.
    - was in EVERY single scene in DCH since he was the biggest star in the movie.
    - unfairly blamed Yash Chopra since he refused to do DARR because Chopra wouldn’t do a joint narration with him and Sunny Deol.

    I can give a few more examples but it’s obvious from the above how Aamir has no standards whatsoever.

  13. rks said:

    I think copyright of songs should remain with lyricist (and same goes for music composer). Regarding payments it is upto concerned people to decide that they don’t want risk and take lump sum or take small amount initially and royalty, based on sales.

  14. sputnik said:

    This gets interesting. Mahesh Bhatt on Twitter.
    MaheshNBhatt Crisis: Yash Chopra called to say that Aamir Khan has resigned from the committee formed by Kapil Sibal to discuss the new Copyright Act! 18 minutes ago from web

  15. sputnik said:

    Ihab,

    Dont equate “Dan te Nan” and “Chaiyya Chaiyya” with the other songs you mentioned.

    Just because the first two words of the song are to there make it catchy does not mean the rest of the song is bad.

    ‘”Chaiyya Chaiyya” became famous becoz of its “lyrics” or because of SRK dancing on the train?’

    Have you even listened to the whole song? Gulzar won Best Lyrics for this song and its one of his finest songs.

  16. Ihab said:

    Yes, I know Chaiya Chaiyya has one of the best lyrics.. But I am talking about WHAT made the Song more hit, the lyrics or SRK dancing on the Train? What made Chaiyya Chaiyya the sensational song?

  17. sputnik said:

    Ihab,
    Then can you explain why “Chappa Chappa” became a hit because it had Chandrachur and few other guys in it whom no one knew before?

  18. JustaFan said:

    Chaiya Chaiya was a HIT the moment it was heard. SRK could have been taking a dump during this song and it would still have been a classic.

  19. S T R E E T said:

    justafan is such an …. oh well. forget it.

    Chaiyya Chaiyya was that perfect mix of great lyrics by the greatest lyricist ever, wound around a great composition by best music composer India has seen, presented by the best choreographer of her time picturizing a novel video style featuring a superstar at the peak of his career in a movie directed by a director known for great song videos.

    It’s for that reason, why one can make a serious case of it being the most talked about most popular song.. of the past couple of decades. In fact, Chaiya Chaiyya is very much the song of its generation.

    Chappa chappa? not quite…a personal fav but nowhere close…

  20. Ihab said:

    Does Chappa Chappa even come close to half of the popularity Chaiya Chaiya has? No IMO.

    Anyways, Street has pretty much summed it up very well.

    Ok, leaving aside Chaiyya Chaiyya, what about song like “Dard E Disco”? Its lyrics were written by Javed Akhtar and perhaps its one of his weakest written songs.. Yet the song became a rage..

  21. Shahid said:

    Don’t believe every moron who writes in a paper – Saket Chaudhary (Director of Pyaar ke side effects)….

    He was present at the meeting and here are some of his tweets on this issue:

    - have great respect for aamir and javed saab where both had the balls to put forward their opposing POV’s in an open forum unlike most B’wood

    - obviously they will its unfortunate the whole issue has been reduced to a clash of personalities, someone do a proper story

    - i was at that meeting the angle to the story given was wrong it was a discussion in which a lot of opinions were put across

    - let me assue u that Aamir is very much on our side don’t believe every moron who writes in a paper

    Tweets from Faridoon Shahriyar (Reporter – Bollywood Hungama)

    - I chkd wid a reliable source close 2 Aamir n it said dat Aamir is still in mourning n wudn’t react 2 d speculativ story

    - The source further added dat knowing Aamir, he will nvr harm anyone’s interests n shall clarify (if required) at opportune time

    - Spoke to Javed Akhtar sb n he said dat d Mumbai Mirror story ’bout his altercation wid Aamir was ‘gossip’ n he wudn’t want 2 talk ’bout it

    - Also spoke 2 Saket Chaudhry (director of Pyaar Ke Side Effects)who was also present at d writer’s n producer’s meeting..

    - Saket says dat d MM story is in a bad taste.Things hav been quoted out of context.The larger issue has been totally sidelined.

    - Saket says Aamir definitely empathised wid d cause of creative ppl like writers but d story has misrepresented d whole issue

  22. sputnik said:

    Street,
    “Chaiyya Chaiyya was that perfect mix of great lyrics by the greatest lyricist ever, wound around a great composition by best music composer India has seen, presented by the best choreographer of her time picturizing a novel video style featuring a superstar at the peak of his career in a movie directed by a director known for great song videos.”

    Agree with you on this. Was about to comment the same. It was a rare instance of everything coming together.

    Ihab,
    ”Chaiyya Chaiyya” became famous becoz of its “lyrics” or because of SRK dancing on the train?
    You used the quotes for lyrics to imply that it was because of SRK dancing on the train that the song became a hit and not because of the lyrics. Its not a case of this or that, its a case of both and all the other things that Street mentioned.

    Dard-e-Disco,
    Same thing as I said before about other songs with Dard-e-Disco, the lyrics are pretty good except for the words Dard-e-Disco. As far as the picturization is concerned, I did not like it and a lot of people I know hated the picturization too.

  23. Shahid said:

    Aamir Khan quits govt copyright panel

    Mumbai: A livid Aamir Khan has resigned from the 10-member committee that was recently formed by the Centre to look into the proposed amendments into the Copyright Act. The panel also has producer Mukesh Bhatt, lyricist Javed Akhtar, scriptwriter Anjum and director Vishal Bharadwaj.

    In a scathing letter (a copy of which is with DNA), Aamir said he
    couldn’t stand the allegations by fellow members that he was monetarily gaining from being part of the committee. “Sir, I take great pride in my honesty and integrity, and my sense of justice and fair play. Monetary achievements have never excited me. If they had, I would have acted in more than one film a year, thereby being financially richer than I currently am. I believe what I have earned is the love and respect of my colleagues and audience. And, this I have done through my work and through the manner in which I work. This is why such public attacks leave me crippled.”
    Aamir faxed the letter to HRD minister Kapil Sibal’s office on Tuesday evening.

    “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. Aggression of this type leaves me very disillusioned and sad, and I am unable to function. I request you to accept my resignation from this committee,” Aamir said in the letter.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_aamir-khan-quits-govt-copyright-panel_1348865

  24. lalsub said:

    I somehow had a feeling that Aamir would resign from this committee–and uncanilly it came out true.

    That letter from Aamir was right–monetarily Aamir could have been far richer if he was an unethical hack instead of a principled filmmaker and person.

    The abusive title above, it’s completely wrong.

  25. Doga said:

    Farhan Akthar -” Daddy, Aamir khan has interfered a lot in DCH making, what should i do”

    Javed Akthar – ” He is a big star, you cant do anything, just say he is the best actor to work with”

    Farhan – ” But what about what he did with me ”

    Javed – ” I will use it at a appropriate time, I am a script writer of huge hits, i do know when to use a line”

    Farhan – ” But if asked to you after DCH about Aamir what will you say”

    Javed – ” He is the best actor to work with “

  26. sandy said:

    Hmmmm…one would have to wait and see what exactly transpired before taking a stand. Aamir has had issues with writers and giving credit etc, so there is a pattern or sorts. But I would want more clarification on why Javed Akthar chose to blast off Aamir in that way. One can understand the anger and frustration of writers and lyricists, but I think this issue needs to be discussed calmly, not emotionally. Akthar might just have overreated here. Let’s see.

  27. sputnik said:

    rks,

    The writer in the second link is ridiculous.

    “Did a song-writer get audiences hip-shaking to Ek-Do-Teen, or was it Madhuri? True, soundtracks can strike gold even if films flop. But lyricists must thank composers and singers here as well rather than hog credit.

    Let’s face it. Bollywood’s driven by star power. Actors followed by directors carry films on their shoulders. If they get bouquets for success, they also get brickbats for failure. A lyricist, with his limited but risk-proof brief, doesn’t have to carry this burden. He can certainly want fame, recognition, fat paychecks, royalties, etc. But at showtime, he shouldn’t try to jostle for space under the arc lights with a Shah Rukh or an Aishwarya. If he has ego hassles about that, he should say bye-bye to Bollywood.”

    Ek-Do-Teen was a hit even before the video of the song released. Infact, Madhuri became a star with the song Ek Do Teen. Music used to release much before the songs started playing on TV and back then cable TV had not started yet. Up until the early 90s, new songs used to be played on “Chitralok” on radio much before the video came out on TV.

    The song promos started after the advent of cable TV in India. If I am correct, Darr audio cassette was released much before the song Jadoo Teri Nazar was ever played on TV.

    “Ghar Se Nikalte Hi” picturized on a flop actor Jugal Hansraj became a superhit song because of the lyrics, music and singing.

  28. rks said:

    Sputnik – Your points are valid but opposite is also true when some scores get more recognition because of the movie. How many would have cared for Udit’s “mei Nikla Gaddi le kar” in Gadar or 3 Idiots songs? Or Kajra re was not a big hit until its video came out.

    I am not sure what transpired in that meeting. But I think there is agreement regarding copyright of the song (that it should remain with respective holders[lyricist,composer]). Regarding payments, I think I still stand by what I said above. You take lump sum and reduce risk or get small amount (take risk that song is going to get popular) and accept royalties out of music sales and part of movie exhibition on TV or other medium.

    ps: I think next in line would be actors!

  29. sputnik said:

    rks,
    Your points are valid too. Before the advent of cable television in India, songs used to become hits even if they were on flop stars. But somewhere in the mid 90s bad songs started becoming hits because of the stars. But I also think these songs become hits only during the time of their release and die down after that.

    Take for example the title song from Ram Jaane or the songs from Trimurthi or the songs from Ishq/Mangal Pandey. I dont see them playing on any music channels any more.

    The payment issue is because the original music composers/lyricists composed a song for a movie and they knew that the audio cassettes would sell. But now there are new avenues – the songs are used for ring tones, ads, remixes, in other movies, TV shows and so on. The composers are not getting any of this revenue.

    Rahman has lamented that he needs permission to sing his own songs. So I agree that they should have permission to do that. But at the same time, it is very annoying to hear a good song like “Jai Ho” butchered by Pussycat Dolls immediately after the Oscar win because Rahman had copyrights and he chose to do a version with them.

    I think there should be shared copyright with the makers too.

    Check out this nice article.
    http://www.outlookindia.com/printarticle.aspx?262537

  30. Rocky said:

    Great discussion between aamir and Javed, oops I mean RKS and Sputnik. LOL
    The two people I respect the most after Bachchan and Naseer are Aamir and Javed Akhtar in the film Industry, ab yeh hee aapas mein ladenge tau kaise kaam chalega ????

  31. rks said:

    lol Rocky.
    I think they should have asked for NDA before they started discussing about the issue.

    Sputnik – I think it is more complex. Like I don’t find anything wrong with Rahman doing a version with PussyCat dolls but then the song copyright is shared with Gulzar and he probably wouldn’t want his song to be used unless he paid? There are directors/producers who have good input in making of a song. How do we quantify that?

  32. sputnik said:

    rks,

    “I don’t find anything wrong with Rahman doing a version with PussyCat dolls”
    I am not saying it is wrong but that song released very soon after his Oscar win and it kind of spoiled the original song. Are you sure that it is shared with Gulzar? I read a Gulzar interview somewhere where he said that he did not even know that Rahman was going to use it in SM.

    But there is a hypocrisy here. What about the singers who sang the original song? Are they just dispensable? I think they used to get royalty but with the competition now I think they get paid peanuts for a song. Rahman never gives all songs to one singer in an album. I think as stupid as lip syncing in movies may be there should be only one singer in a movie for all songs picturized on one actor. I mean if Katrina’s voice is dubbed by 6 different dubbing artists in 6 different scenes will that be ok?

    “There are directors/producers who have good input in making of a song. How do we quantify that?”
    Now that makes it really difficult. Coming back to the song “Ek Do Teen” I saw a interview on DD back in the 90s where LP (and maybe JA was there too) said that they were using Ek Do Teen as dummy words while composing the song and JA decided to use Ek Do Teen for the actual song.

  33. rks said:

    Aamir quits copyright panel, Akhtar, others say they want him to stay

    “his (Aamir’s) intention is the same as the rest of us — to work out a proposal that is fair to all parties concerned, and therefore for the Indian film industry”.
    “We think that we should now be left in peace to work towards arriving at a uniform understanding of what fair rights are. In short, we would very definitely like Aamir to continue on this committee,” added the letter signed by Javed Akhtar, Anjum Rajabali, Vishal Bhardwaj, Prasoon Joshi, Saket Chaudhary, Vishal Dadlani and Ram Sampat.

  34. utkal said:

    The argument between Amir and Javed was about the contribution of a lyricist in making a song a hit vis-a-vis a star on whom the song is picturized. And he has appoint. Chhaiyan Chhiyan would be as big a hit without it being picturized on Sharukh, or Mitwa without amir. Yes, the lyricists, Music Director and singers play a role in making a song a hit and should get credit as well as royalty. But how much? That is where it is important to realise that these songs wont be as big a hit if not used in a film. ( Amir is wrong in talking only of the stars, it is the filmy context , that makes the song a bigger hit.)So the royalty should be divided betwen film’s producer/ director/ the music company on one hand ( depending on the agreement between them) and the MD, Lyricist and the singers on the other hand.

  35. sputnik said:

    JA and VB make interesting points in the second video. JA says that the wife of the music director of the famous song “Aayega Aanewala” from Mahal died begging at Borivali station. He says that writers are paid 0.2% of the movie budget when they are paid well. He also says that when a song is played in a aircraft it is the song being used not the actor. He also says that Indian copyright law already gives them the copyrights but the music companies make them sign agreements where they have to relinquish all the rights to the music company and that the amendment is to protect their rights.

    VB says that he had to shell out 8 lakh for each song of Hemant Kumar and SD Burman in Kaminey and that if we wanted to use them in promos, he would have had to shell out 5 lakhs more to the music company and none of this money would go the Hemant Kumar/SD Burman’s family.

    If a star is contributing to the song isn’t he taking a lot of money for doing that already? Top stars are being paid 10-30 crores for a movie whereas top lyricists like Gulzar and JA get 1.5 lakh – 2.5 lakh per song according to this article from 2006. Lets say they are 8 songs in a movie that would make 20 lakhs for a movie. Sameer gets 25000 Rs per song (he probably makes up by writing 100s of songs) and one can just imagine what the others get.
    http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/features/2006/07/19/1372/index.html

  36. Rocky said:

    Ikaa ( the real king) is back with a bang.
    No drama, No Naatak, simple resignation did the trick.
    arrey bhai – yeh baat dramaking ko samjhao. LOL !!!

  37. RAJ said:

    Its always welcome when there is a debate in these kind of matters because every party concerned have a valid point….Javed Akhtar has a valid point so as Aamir…Media shouldnt report things out of context and vicitiate the atmosphere..

    But i must say i am highly impressed by Kapil Sibbal…The man seems to be on a mission to cleanse the system and is really making some dynamic changes..

  38. My Name is Ali said:

    Yes RAJ fully agree that Insha Allah, Kapil Sibbal ji will change the faulty Education System, made by Lord Mackalay .
    Even Aamir Khan praises his efforts.
    I can also understand this coz i was a Lecturer of B. Tech for 4 years and always tried to implement some new and innovative methods in Lecture Hall,like giving presentation and teaching with my Nokia 7710 Using wireless presenter software and also always try to use OHP(over head projector) and digital projectors in place of simple chalk and board and that all too on my own expenses.
    So it is Very Very good to see that now someone has positive will and courage to change our Whole Education System Completely from Root to Top.

  39. rks said:

    I am not a supporter of Mr Sibal or Aamir’s philosophy. I want change in education system but we should not make our system like US’s (That is what Mr Sibal is precisely trying to do). I think the change should happen in our attitudes first.

  40. RAJ said:

    RKS,

    Any kind of change is always welcome…You just cant become stagnant..Kapil sibbal may be right may be wrong ,but atleast he is trying to do something..Yes these chnages can be debated…But the man has taken initiative and it should be appreciated …

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