The Indian Olympic watchers recently experienced a strange sense of trauma, when they saw Israeli gymnast Artem Dolgopyat won Israel’s first-ever Olympic medal in artistic gymnastics. But their trauma wasn’t really related to the game or the sportsman. To everyone’s surprise, after Israel won its first Olympics gymnastics gold at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics 2020, it was the OG Indian music composer Anu Malik, who became the subject of discussion on Twitter.
It all started when Israeli gymnast Artem Dolgopyat won an Olympic medal in artistic gymnastics, and as the ritual, the country’s flag was raised and their national anthem ‘Hatikvah’ was played during the felicitation ceremony. Surprisingly, as Israel’s national anthem was playing, Indian social media users found Malik’s track ‘Mera Mulk Mera Desh’ from the 1996 movie ‘Diljale’ freakishly similar to the Israeli anthem.
Take a look at Israel’s national anthem and Malik’s song:
As soon as Indian’s realised that the song we groove on for the last 25 years to portray our intense nationalism is actually copied from the national anthem of Israel, the microblogging site Twitter got flooded with some interesting reactions.
— maadalaadlahere (@maadalaadlahere) August 2, 2021
Here are some of the reactions:
Anu Malik after watching Israeli National Anthem being played on TV – pic.twitter.com/DfCoUeq2ZR
— g0v!ñD $#@®mA (@rishu_1809) August 1, 2021
— Laluwitharana #Tokyo2020 (@laluwitharana) August 1, 2021
Anu Malik made 1 billion people fool for complete 25 years and no one realised it , ek Gold medal to Anu Malik ka bhi banata hain
— trollpool (@niralsoni) August 1, 2021
Anu Malik after copying national anthem of Israel for his song mera mulk mera desh: pic.twitter.com/Y03OgBpUbP
— Mehul Beniwal (@MehulBeniwal) August 1, 2021
A GOLD for Anu Malik as well
On seeing this controversy, it is easy for one to say that the Bollywood music composer Anu Malik took the words of Lionel Trilling that ‘Immature artists imitate, while the mature artists steal’ too damn seriously. This is not the first time that Malik has been accused of plagiarism. The famous composer has earlier as well has received a backlash for making Bollywood songs that were copied, or let’s just say inspired.
With absolutely no doubt, Anu Malik has been one of the most influential music composers of Bollywood, but at the same time, he is also known for making headlines for allegedly copying tunes from all over the globe. From Bollywood hit songs like ‘Yeh kaali kaali ankhen’ to Bobby Deol’s ‘Soldier Soldier’ to Imran Hasmi’s ‘Kaho na Kaho, ye ankhen bolti hai’, the list of Anu Malik’s copied discoveries goes on.
Hatikvah: The anthem of Hope
Like most national anthems, ‘Hatikvah’ too found its inspiration from a poem, ‘Tikvatenu’ or ‘Our Hope’. The poem was first published in 1886, about 62 years before the birth of Israel in 1948.
Samuel Cohen, a 19th century Jewish settler in Ottoman Palestine (now claimed by Israel), set the first two stanzas of poet Naftali Herz Imber’s poem Tikvatenu (Our Hope) to the melody, creating the Zionist movement’s unofficial anthem, which later became Israel’s official national anthem, ‘Hatikvah’.
‘Hatikvah’ is also believed to serve as a source of hope and inspiration to the Jews when they found themselves in the most terrible and horrible circumstances. During the darkest hours of the Holocaust, Jews defied their tormentors by singing the song’s powerful lyrics.