Birlas fail but Batas defeat Bollywood director Prakash Jha

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Birla and Jha
New Delhi, Oct 16: Bollywood director Prakash Jha faced a new challenge when Delhi High Court on Monday, Oct 15 restrained him from releasing the disputed song "Mehngai" in his upcoming movie - Chakravyuh.

The director, who won a similar case against one of the top industrialist of India - Basant Kumar Birla, lost the legal battle against leading shoe manufacturer Bata.

The Bata Group filed a defamation case against the director saying the song is "offending". The high court judge, in an interim order, said, "...The defendants (film makers), their employees, servants, agents, partners/ proprietors, directors... any person or entity acting on their behalf or under their authority are accordingly restrained from releasing, transmitting, distributing... or communicating to the public by any means or technology, aural or audio visual performance of the impugned song Mehngai using the name of the plaintiff (Bata India Ltd) therein till final disposal of the suit."

The song has been featured on actor Abhay Deol and others, who played the roles of Naxalites in the movie, mocking the industrialists including Tatas, Batas.

The lyrics of the song "Mehngai" say - Birla ho ya Tata, Ambani ho ya Bata, Sabne Apne Chakkar Mein desh ko hai kata. Loosely translated meaning of the line could be - Birla, Tata, Ambani, Bata - all have hurt the nation for their personal gain.

Earlier, song of the movie "Heeralal Pannalal" (1978) had similar lyrics - Seedhe raste chaloge to aisa dhamaka milega jhopdi mein Birla aur Tata milega aur Bata ki dukaan mein bhi aata milega. Loosely translated meaning of the line could be - If you follow the righteous path, you may find the Tatas and Birlas in slum and you may get flour in the shops of the Batas.

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