Two Judges, a Poet and a Gangsta-movie maker

Continuing with the fascinating questions that Shamnad has thrown up over moral rights and cultural property, Ananya Vajpeyi ruminates on the recent controversy over Ram Gopal Varma’s creative remixing of the national anthem through a reading of the Supreme Court’s judgment in Sanjeev Bhatnagar v. Union of India (Writ Petition 16/2005). The case wanted the deletion of Sindh from Jana Gana Mana and the inclusion of new Indian provinces. Vajpeyi’s article also provides a rarely seen framework of analysis for Supreme Court judgments, that of literary theory.

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  • RGV chose the wrong song to parody. He could have made a far stronger parody, with far fewer problems of "Where the mind is without fear…" by Rabindranath Tagore.

  • Thanks for linking up to this fascinating piece Rohit. A quick query though:

    To what extent will the ruling in Sanjeev Bhatnagar apply to the Varma case? Bhatnagar dealt with a petitioner who wanted to amend the anthem. Varma was merely parodying it.