‘Mile Sur’ celebrated 15 years last year, and at that time Ogilvy India celebrated the creative genius of late Suresh Mullick and what he meant to the Indian creative fraternity. Around Republic Day this year, ‘Mile Sur’ was in the news once again, this time for the remake version that was being created by Times Television Group’s channel Zoom. The remake version garnered interest and similar goodwill, but the senior leaders of the Indian advertising fraternity were perturbed when it was realised that Suresh Mullick was not given any credit in ‘Phir Mile Sur’.
It is understood that senior member of the advertising fraternity have tried to raise issues around the situation. The discussions ranged from the fact that the IPR of the song was with a defunct organisation and then was coordinated with an arm of Prasar Bharati to mentioning that the credits were taken as were given by Kailash Surendranath. The question, however, still remains that how can the man behind the original not be credited in the remake?
The building controversy clearly has two sides, and echoing the sentiments of the creative fraternity, BBDO India’s Josy Paul, who was at Ogilvy when Suresh Mullick had created this film, said, “The re-makers of ‘Mile Sur’ should definitely give Suresh Mullick credit in the new video. Not just credit, they should celebrate the man’s genius! So that more Indians will be inspired to contribute their art and talent to creating ideas that unite us. Suresh Mullick conceptualised and visualised ‘Mile Sur’.”
Paul added, “Suresh Mullick is an artist. He passed away years ago. Dead artists don’t fight for credit. They believe that people like you and me will be fair to their creation. Zoom is a popular channel. I am sure they understand, and will use their platform to give artists like Suresh Mullick due credit.”
Zoom willing to add credits
On being asked why Suresh Mullick was not given any credit in the recently released film, ‘Phir Mile Sur’, Suresh Bala, CEO, Zoom Entertainment Network, clarified, “Before I answer your question, I would first like to remind you that in any conversation, conference or discussion that we have done on ‘Phir Mile Sur’, we have mentioned and given credit to Suresh Mullick. We honoured Piyush Pandey as a mark of honouring Suresh Mullick. I apologise to anyone whose sentiments may be hurt if they feel that there may have been a deliberate attempt to keep Mr Mullick’s name out or that due credit was not given. This was not the intention of this initiative at all.”
Bala then said, “To answer your question, when we first thought of the idea, we worked towards licensing the ‘Mile Sur’ track, but we hit a roadblock there since technically the IPR of ‘Mile Sur’ was with an organisation called Lok Sevan Sanchar Nigam, which is now defunct. We then followed the established norm in the music industry and licensed this from an arm of Prasar Bharati. After that, given the technicalities that are involved in such matters, we followed the next steps. The credits came from Kailash Surendranath and we had taken them as they had come.”
Bala added, “We would be happy to include that ‘Phir Mile Sur’ is based on the work done by Suresh Mullick in the credits, if that is what has to be done.”
22 years later, Suresh Mullick’s composition finds a new voice in ‘Phir Mile Sur’