Writer Manoj Muntashir is being heavily criticised for the colloquial dialogues in Prabhas, Kriti Sanon and Saif Ali Khan's mythological epic Adipurush. Directed by Om Raut, the film hit the screens on June 16 and has received significant backlash on social media for its VFX, script and direction. However, its dialogues have drawn merciless criticism from netizens as well as celebrities from the film industry.
After facing flak, Muntashir announced on June 18 that the problematic and controversial dialogues of the film will be changed within a week.
However, in an interview after the release of Adipurush, the writer had also stated that he deliberately simplified the dialogues to create a distinction between characters.
He was also accused of 'copying' one of the dialogues of Hanuman's character Devdatta Nage from an old video of a spiritual leader. However, this is not the first time that the writer has been accused of plagiarism.
'None of my creations are 100% original'
In 2021, Muntashir faced widespread condemnation for allegedly plagiarising a poem written by Robert J Lavery in 2007 and publishing it as his own (Mujhe Call Karna).
At that time, he had shared a video on his social media accounts to address the plagiarism accusations that were levelled against him. He had stated that all artistes are inspired by one another, and added, "None of my creations are 100 per cent original."
He added that many of his other works have been inspired by other writers as well. "Momin’s lines inspired one paragraph of the song Teri Galiyan, Tere Sang Yara was inspired by Firakh Gorakhpuri’s couplets, and my own song Teri Mitti has been translated in so many languages but I do not think my name was credited anywhere," he had said.
The writer had also shared that when he won an award for the song Mere Rashke Kamar, he was the first to credit Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Buland Shehri and the co-writers. His song from Baadshaho was actually a rebooted version of the original Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan song.
Songs of Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra's film Kesari, which released in 2019, were also loves by the audience. Two years after the film released, Teri Mitti had been in news for all the wrong reasons as it was alleged that it has been copied from a 2005 Pakistani song.
At that time, Muntashir, who wrote the lyrics for the song, had informed a news publication, "Those making these allegations should kindly check the video which has been uploaded many months after the release of our film, Kesari. And for your kind information the singer is not Pakistani but our very own Indian folk singer Geeta Rabari. You can call and check with her, too."
He further stated that if the song is proven to be a copy, he would quit writing. "If it is proved that Teri Mitti is a copy of any song whatsoever, I will quit writing forever," he had reportedly said.
About Adipurush Controversy
Directed by Om Raut, Adipurush is an epic fantasy that presents an interpretation of the Ramayana. Prabhas portrays Raghav, inspired by Rama, while Kriti Sanon plays Janaki, inspired by Sita.
Saif Ali Khan takes on the role of Lankesh, inspired by Ravana. In particular, the dialogues in the Lanka Dahan scene, where Lord Hanuman utters the lines "jalegi bhi tere baap ki" to Meghnad, have sparked intense scrutiny.
Just a day after the film's release, Twitterati erupted with criticism and relentless trolling, as many viewers deemed these dialogues as 'tapori' and 'chapri,' which they felt did not align with the nature or stature associated with Valmiki's legendary epic, the Ramayana.
Protests have taken place in different parts of the country and Muntashir has also received death threats. Activists and protesters have also demanded a ban on the film.