Plagiarism in Hindi Film Music

For long have we complained about the blatant plagiarism in Hindi Film music by music director’s such as Anu Malik, Bappi Lahiri and Jatin Lalit.

I think there are worse heartbreakers – Shankar Jaikishen, R.D. Burman, S.D. Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Laxmikant Pyarelal and so on. They never got tagged as “lifters” but lifted some of the biggest hits in the Indian film industry.

I knew about quite a few of these copies, but ItwoFS (I2FS – Inspirations in Indian Film Songs) is a good website that has enlisted quite a few of these.

My heartbreakers include (most links and information copied from ItwoFS):

  1. R.D. Burman (one of my most favored music directors)
  2. Laxmikant Pyarelal
    • Om shanti Om (Karz) – Real heartbreaker – Shanti om
  3. Anand Milind
  4. S.D. Burman
    • Hum The Woh Thi (Chalti ka Naam Gaadi) – Listen to The Watermelon song if you want to be speechless!
  5. Shankar Jaikishen – My favorite music directors đŸ˜Ļ
    • Kaun hai jo sapnon mein aaya (Jhook gaya aasmaan) – Blatant – Marguerita
  6. Salil Chowdhury

ItwoFs lists many more!

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65 thoughts on “Plagiarism in Hindi Film Music

  1. I am totally shocked and disappointed!!

    Is there a way I could email this particular blog to someone who would also be shattered seeing how blatantly some songs have been copied?

  2. here are a few more…
    Salil Chaudhary: Itna na mujh se tu pyaar badhaa…(Sujata..i think) inspired from Mozart’s symphony
    RD Burman: Zindagi milke bitaayenge..(Satte pe Satta) inspied by one of the war songs in an english movie(cant remember) about WW-II.
    SD Burman: Ye dil na hotaa bechaara(Johny meraa naamw…is it..?) inspired by ason gin a Bridge over River Kwai.

  3. this is great. i have been telling people for years now bout how hindi music is not as original as it seems. i found out from the originals playing on radio, and so could show them what i i can show some solid proof to them. and thanks of itwofs, that was brilliant.

  4. Even a purist like Naushad blatantly copied “Ya rabba peri peri” to re-shape it as “mera salaam le jaa” composed for “Urankhatola”

  5. this was a real good job done.
    i was in italy for few days and there was some italian song on tv.
    it seemed to be a real old song and it was like ‘nasha yeh pyar ka nasha hai…’ from amir khan’s movie ‘mann’.

    and i remember how these music directors pose themselves on tv interviews with all fundas on music and creativity.

    they should start confessing that they lifted the tunes (or were inspired by the tune using a euphamism) and we the loyal audience will still like them. but now i am feeling betrayed.

  6. If its a really good music, and want to recreate it, the music directors just get proper copyrights and give a proper credits to the original score. One of the reasons not doing this may be high royalty fee.

  7. Pingback: Plagiarism in Hindi Film Music « belliraj

  8. One of the songs in the movie Noorie has been copied by a greek singer. For a change Hindi song has been copied by a greek Singer. Does anyone here know the name of the Greek Song

  9. We have a lot of beatles songs plagiarised….like I wanna hold ur hand … “tumko nahin hain khabar” …I dont remember the movie. also does anyone know if while my guitar gently weeps was copied or not??

      • @ Gut

        From Wikipedia –

        “I Want to Hold Your Hand” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and recorded in October 1963.

        As your own link shows, the film Janwar was released in 1965. The film have a song “Dekho Abto Kisiko Nahin Hai Khabar” sang by Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle which is somewhat similar to the Beatles song. I will not say a copy, may be an inspiration.

        I think Abdul did not phrased his question right – he was just asking if “While my guitar gently weeps” is copied in any Indian film. I have not heard anything yet.

  10. And what about:

    Hindi Song: Na Bole Tum Na Maine (Baaton Baaton Mein)
    Copied From: When Johnny Comes Marching Home (Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore)

    Hindi Song: Mil Gaya (Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin)
    Music Director: R.D Burman
    Copied From: Mama Mia (ABBA)

    Hindi Song: Jaana Jaana (Murder)
    Music Director: Anu Malik
    Copied From: Firiye Dao (Pop Band Miles) Bangladeshi Band

  11. I am speechless.Why did I call them music greats ! They are just like politicians and bureaucrats….tall orders…low deliveries !!

  12. A bit out of the Hindi context but wanted to make a point – my biggest disappointment was Karthik Raja’s Tamil song something along the line “neesam katraka ….” – which at first I thought was out of this world – only to realize it was lifted from Pocahontas’s theme.

  13. I feel if the song appeals to you and you feel good after listening to the song it really doesn’t matter if it’s copied or original.
    I think they all are good…except Anu Malik (I don’t like him) but he has given some good music. Also don’t forget these are just a few songs from their credit. I think they all are still a legend for me. I still enjoy those songs more than the originals. That’s all I care about.

  14. hi,
    guess that the Indian musicians has lost originality. anyways…
    the song of mission istanbul title track “mission mission istanbul” is also lifted from an english track and guys the english original is just phenomenal.
    can anyone let me know whr has it been taken from / whats the original english song.


  15. Do you know there is a difference between copy and insoiration? the most of the tune composed by old music composer like shankar jaikisan, r.d burman seems to be the copy of other music.But you can’t say these are copied but you can say these are inspiration. Very few music are directly copied by them like–om shanto om, aao twist kare, etc.The percentage are very low. They were all great, great music composer not like today’s anu malik, Himesh reshmiya etc the most of the tune of these composer are directly copied from other tune.

  16. copieng music is easier than music making. our music directors do a number of movies in a span of 12 months, whereas popstar like M J takes atleast 4 to 5 years to produce an album

    -wada hai kya kya hai kasam -taxi chor 1980 bappi lahiri is lifted from-Don’t let me be misunderstood by Santa Easmeralda

    Raat baaki baat baaki- Namak halal-again Bapi Da from Donna Summers-OUR Love

    Yudh Kar-singer[Amit Kumar]-music-Kalyanji anandji copied from-Yazoo-Dont Go

    • To the poster who said “raat Baaqi” from Namak halaal is copied from Donna Summer’s Our love. Dude! You are reaching now. First get some basic music knowledge and then talk like a music-snob! Sure there are tons of songs lifted/copied/inspired from INdia but I guess its because bollywood music is a crazy idea. Like another poster said, there is a LOOOOOOT of difference between composing one album in 5 years and making 100 songs + 10 soundtracks in one year

  17. Pingback: Share a Tune: Inspired Music in Indian Films « 42

  18. Lalit,

    I wrote similar post about a couple weeks ago – you’ll be surprised how uncannily similar! Someone mentioned this post in a comment, and I was genuinely taken in by surprise! Of course, I’ve added a link to this one now; thought I’d mention it 🙂

    I’m not even sure if I should even say “nice post!” to this one; it’d be like praising my own 😛 But I’ll certainly be back to read more 🙂

    Glad to have come across this!


    —Edit by Lalit Patil — I added the link to Gauri’s post at her request, instead of adding a new comment!

  19. Hello All,

    I used to love this song from the movie ashiqui (I think it was ashiqui….i forget the name) where the choros goes ohhhh o oh oh oh ohho ho ho in a melodious sing song kinda way. (its all i know lol)

    Later on I heard the exact same music in an english rock song. !

    I dont know the names of either one of these songs and i dont know how to search out what im lookin for. (its hard to get anything with just an “ohh ohh”)

    If anyone has the faintest idea of what im referring to .. please help me.



    • Hi Gayatri,

      i was browsing through the net for the same query, when i landed upon this website where you’ve asked about the same doubt. funnily, after nearly half-an-hour’s fruitless search, i was typing my query on ‘yahoo answers’, and had just finished typing ‘it had a tarzan-type yell ohh o ho ho ho…’, when it suddenly clicked to my mind that the name of the song had the word ‘tarzan’ in it when i had last seen it some months back on VH1 Classic. bas, fir kya tha, i searched on youtube, and got it ! the hindi song that copied the tune from this english one (‘baltimora – tarzan boy’) is ‘tum ladki ho’ from the 90’s movie ‘maine pyaar kiya’, which we now know had lifted tunes from quite a number of 80’s famous english pop songs, best amongst them known as ‘europe – final countdown’, which ‘inspired’ ‘mere rang mein’ song in the Hindi movie. anyway, am posting you the links here for your facilitation. enjoy 🙂 (original song, of 1985. a smash-hit ! And obviously, much better than the lifted hindi one 😉 (the lifted hindi one. lame-n-lousy !) (download-link for the original english song)

      if you’re unable to download from the above link, mail me, and i’ll send you the song through email.

      cheers 🙂

      [P.S. – thanks for typing that ‘ohh ho ho ho ho ho…’ thing here, otherwise i wasn’t able to type the exact words and search on google ;)]

  20. Very good text. I’ve found your site via Yahoo and I’m really happy about the information you provide in your articles. Btw your sites layout is really messed up on the Kmelon browser. Would be cool if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the good work!

  21. One of my long time fav “main rangeela pyar ka rahi – Chhoti Bahen 1959′

    Found out it was gamblers guitar from rusty draper.

    Well there goes….

  22. i m not shocked to find a comment here that some people dont bother whether a song is original or not and just enjoy it. Well it fine with u, if u enjoy a stolen material. Such people r superficial. When we enjoy a particular piece of art, we in some way appreciate the one who created it. But when we know that we r praising someonr for a thing which he has stolen, even an ordinary music lover is filled with disgust. Anyway, bollywood is filledd with cheapster, thieves and thugs and u know why they r still in bussiness, beacuse indian music lovers r cheap and stupid. They dont mind paying for stolen goods.

  23. kadhi te has bol ve(love aaj kal)
    actually its sad song and sung by pakistani punjabi folk singer sauqat ali
    agar tum mil jayo(zehar)
    Ishq Hi Hai Rab” – DIL BOLE HADIPPA
    punjabi song sung by pakistani singer mansoor malangi(ik phul motiya da maar ke uda)

  24. I am trying to get the original of the song eek baar, eek baar pyar se thu bol-sanan teri kasam.I rememebr a very old english song( late 1950s or early 1960s-the lyrics go something like this
    one and the two I love you
    and hope and hope you love metoo
    lets play the game of love
    five and six kiss me quick etc
    In case anyone come across this english song please mail me as to wher I can get it.
    Thanks dilip

  25. Know what guys,I dont listen to bollywood songs anymore.Most of them are crap and the good ones are often plagiarised.I really appreciated old songs.Md.Rafi is my fav singer.But,the day I heard Abba’s Mamma Mia,I was like how could R.D Burman do this.The tune is same as Mil Gaya.Its so sad.Too many albums may also be a factor.But,come on,you shouldn’t sign onto projects.I am telling you,last year,there wasn’t even one good album other Ishqiyaan.Its bad.

  26. can anyone tell me the original version of song: Aap jaisa koi mere jindagi mein aaye…Hindi Music Directer: Bappi Lahari.
    i m sure Bappi copied this song.
    Anyone knows Plz mail me.

    kesh patil.navi mumbai

  27. high royalty fee and that does not mean you start coping every bits and bytes. but i don’t think that’s too bad. Hollywood has invented and somebody has followed it up…but blatant copying and plagiarism is the ugly face unless you give superb at least proper credit to the is no law forbidding, so they get let off!

    This matters only in academic research, for god sake, not in movies. you cannot cheat Professors by copypasting, there are softwares that catch you in every bits and you can’t escape, and hence very few copied research in the west.
    in the academics and particularly research, this plagiarism only matters, and that too seriously, given there are very few thief because of the high penalty, loss of career and punishment.(even the corporate sector won’t hire you if they know you have copied, and if they hire, that means they are abetting plagiarism-and gets marked)
    whoever has invented the concept of copypasting, must be a great fellow making new things easier…just by copying. that’s all folks. enjoy the tune don’t go into details, movies are not that serious stuff after all that’s just entertainment.

  28. i agree with you sam, about plagiarism in academics the reason we don’t have good research outputs in India. but do we really have good world class movies really innovative ones to win us some Oscars? here it matters most. every plagiarism is an act of stealing someone’s work, be it entertainment or research. and how many Grammy winners from India after Pt. Ravi Shankar and A.R.Rehman? You see the results speak of itself.
    where is the innovation in Indian movies., after S. Ray(the only Oscar so far)?
    you need to make original movies to compete in the international Oscar bazaar and in the end, prestige matters most, not money, when you come back with a handful of Oscar smiling away at the red carpet!. When will India have a director like Spielberg, Cameroon and actors like Spencer Tracy, Morgan Freeman?
    I seldom see and listen to Bollywood music that’s all rubbish stuff, except very few ones.

  29. It seems that what is left 2day is just the shit of so called great indian culture. I very well remember that Asha Bhonsle, in one of her interview/program years ago at radio, (may be vividh bharti) quite bravely exposed this age old copycat culture. I think putting aside the list of OUR greats (musician, politician, buerocrats etc) we badly need to explore/highlite/utilise the simlicity/originality of THE STUPID COMMON INDIAN.

  30. song pal pal har pal is copied from Sir cliff richards song you are my theam for dream and hum hai rahi pyaar ke’s aamir khan one of the actor in the movie song congratulation is copied from same song of cliff richard and r d burman inspired a song young once with some indian twist of song desh pardesh of dev aanand nazrana bheja kisine pyaar ka and sholey intro them inspired from for a few dollars more intro music last lap

  31. some one querying that sate pe sata zindgi mil ke song copied from movie harmonic tune longet day rajesh roshan copied koyla song tanhayi from melody use in utpal dutt and amol palekar movie naram garam and aanand milind papa kahte hai inspired kalin brother’s song when

  32. Hi there I hope you people know the original song of which Inteha Hogayee Intezar Ki (SHARABI) is copied from. I am sorry, I did not remember the singer or composer but I heard that original song from which Bappi Da had copied our beloved song sung by Kishore Da. Please help me.

    The song Mehbooba of sholey was sung by the Cypriot singer under title TA RIALIA in 1973.Later Demis Roussos,a Greek priest and converted English singer,settled in USA , also copied it as SAY YOU LOVE ME.
    Michalis Kyriakou, known by his stage-name Michalis Violaris (Greek: ΜιĪ‡ÎŦÎģΡĪ‚ ΒιÎŋÎģÎŦĪÎˇĪ‚) (born 9 January 1944 Agia Varvara, Nicosia Cyprus), is a popular singer and composer of modern Greek and Cypriot music.[1]
    He is also a pioneer responsible for popularising in Greece Cypriot songs sung in the Cypriot dialect. His song Ta Ryalia (also Ta Rialia) sung in Cypriot Greek became a hit in the top-10 of Greece in 1973.[2]

  34. Yap it’s kinda heartbreak for everyone now and then when we found the song you adore and love is just a blind copy but we forget people copied everywhere… As long as you like it, just consider as two version of same tune you always enjoy….

    Few Song I came across completely lifted…

    Janna Suno Hum Tum Par marte Hai (Khamoshi) Lifted from Paul anka “Bring The Wine”

    Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye movei Jurm (Real Heartbraker) lifted from Brother Four ‘500 Miles’


  36. After checking the these are (especially SD Burman) seems the least offenders. I mean someone with decades of musical career and all we can come up with 1 or 2 tunes. It is hardly heartbreaking. In there are 8 songs listed against SD Burman and only 2 of them are lifts, others are “somewhat” similar.

    You can make a list of similar size (1-8 songs) for current music directors for songs “not” copied/lifted without changing a single note.

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