MUMBAI: Javed Akhtar’s three-year long struggle to get the Copyright Amendment Bill passed in parliament has come to fruition. On Tuesday, the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha. But not without an accompanying drama that lasted nearly 12 hours.
Apparently Javed who had been preparing for the final lap of his battle with the hope of seeing the Bill passed on Tuesday was stunned when the Amendment Bill was found to be missing in the list of parliamentary affairs that were to be discussed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Says Javed, “On Monday evening, I got know that the Amendment Bill was not tabled in the parliamentary affairs for Tuesday. I went into a state of utter panic. Obviously someone had played mischief. Evidently strings had been pulled to pull the Amendment Act out of the list of parliamentary affairs.”
When Javed made panic-stricken inquiries about the shocking omission he was told some of relevant documents for the Amendment Bill were missing. Says Javed, “It was nothing but a desperatre attempt to sabotage the Bill. I immediately got into action. I spent almost the entire Monday night getting the Bill proposal back into the list of parliamentary affairs. Finally the fight has been worth my while.I’ve spent two years of my life doing nothing except fight for the Bill. Now there’s a feeling of relief and emptiness.”
Speaking on behalf of the entire music industry Shekhar of the Vishal-Shekhar duo said, “This day shall be marked as one of the most important days in the history of the music industry.Gratitude and blessings to Javed Saab, Mr Kapil Sibal, Sushma Swarajji and everyone who supported the Bill.” Says Shankar Mahadevan, “It’s truly a historical moment for Indian music. Finally we can say our babies will remain ours. Hats off to Javed Saab for singlehandedly pursuing this matter. It was a rollercoaster ride. But he hung on till justice prevailed.We also want to thank our government and all the parties for unanimously supporting for cause.” Adds writer Prasoon Joshi, “I am happy that both the Rajya and Lok Sabha with full support of the opposition have decided to protect the interest of the artistes.It shows their maturity and sensitivity.It is the hallmark of a fair progressive and intellectual society to treat artistes with respect.This is a welcome step.”