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Screenwriters in Bollywood have been raising their voices in recent years for getting proper remuneration and treatment. On December 7, more than 100 Bollywood writers came together at a meeting called by the Screenwriters Association (SWA), the trade union of writers, to discuss their complaints.

Over 100 Bollywood writers come together to raise concerns over their rights

Well-known names like Sriram Raghavan (Andhadhun), Sujoy Ghosh (Kahaani), Sumit Aroraa (Jawan), Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari (Bareilly Ki Barfi), Shridhar Raghavan (Pathaan), Harshvardhan Kuklarni (Badhaai Do), Sudeep Sharma (Pataal Lok), Abbas Tyrewala (Pathaan) and others spoke about how the situation needs to change. A statement from the official press release from SWA said, “Complaints were mainly centred around how average remuneration is shrinking, credit is given at the discretion of producers, termination can be arbitrary, and how they are forced to indemnify producers if there is a socio-political backlash to the film.”

The statement added, “It was said in the meeting that toughly worded agreements force writers to waive their moral rights as well as their right to receive royalty, incidentally both of which have been guaranteed by Indian copyright law. The gathering pointed out that while beginners suffer the most, unfair contracts are the norm even for successful senior writers.”

Anjum Rajabali (Raajneeti), the chairperson of the Contracts Committee said, “The time has come to say: Enough! Our work deserves its due commercial value, and writers their dignity. To get that, we have to break the existing mindset towards our profession.” Zaman Habib (Ye Rishta Kya Kehlaata hai) General Secretary of SWA, said, “A beginning has been made here. We shall push back as a united front to make our contracts fair and balanced. This meeting is the first step in that direction.”

Abbas Tyrewala (War) hailed it as a historic meeting while Pubali Chaudhuri, (Rock On!!) welcomed it as a very important step. SWA’s Hollywood counterpart the Writers Guild of America was in the news recently for their 148-day strike that brought Hollywood to a standstill, winning the writers an important victory.

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Aditya Chopra has strong ideas and he equally respects your ideas, reveals Pathaan writer Abbas Tyrewala

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