Languages
Page last updated at 16:31 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Jai Ho 'cost Congress $200,000'

Slumdog Millionaire
Jai Ho won the Best Song award at the Oscars

India's Congress party paid nearly $200,000 to buy the rights to Jai Ho, the Oscar-winning song from Slumdog Millionaire, the BBC has learnt.

The governing party plans to use the song as part of its campaign for general elections which are to take place in April and May.

Slumdog, set in the slums of Mumbai (Bombay), won eight Oscars last month.

Bollywood composer AR Rahman and lyricist Gulzar won the Best Song Oscar for Jai Ho, literally meaning victory.

With its catchy tune and uplifting lyrics, Jai Ho has become immensely popular with the public in India.

'Ready'

"The campaign is ready for launch. It has been sent to the party for approval. It should be out on television and radio in a few hours subject to its approval," Harindra Singh, vice-chairman and managing director of advertising firm Percept, told the BBC on Thursday.

Percept negotiated the song's rights with T-Series, which holds the song's copyright.

"The tune of the song and the Jai Ho phrase have been used in the campaign. The lyrics have been written by a combination of people, they will be projecting what the Congress wishes to communicate," Mr Singh said.

Congress party officials say the achievements of the government deserve to be saluted and the song best explains that.

Reliable sources told the BBC that T-Series had received nearly $200,000 for allowing Congress to use the song.

Popular Bollywood numbers are often re-jigged by political parties in India to convey their message to voters.

Words set to popular film tunes can often be heard blaring from loudspeakers at election rallies.

But this is the first time that a party has bought exclusive rights to use a song for political promotion.

At the forthcoming polls, the main contest is expected to be between Congress and the main opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

If neither wins a clear majority with its allies, smaller regional parties could play a crucial role.

Senior BJP leader, Prakash Javdekar, told Reuters news agency on Wednesday: "This song will ensure their defeat because it will remind every Indian that millions of people still have to stay in slums because of faulty Congress policies."

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Dates announced for India polls
02 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Singh accuses Pakistan on Mumbai
06 Jan 09 |  South Asia
India poll chief row intensifies
02 Feb 09 |  South Asia
Why India's state elections matter
08 Dec 08 |  South Asia
India state elections announced
14 Oct 08 |  South Asia
India MPs hold vote of confidence
22 Jul 08 |  South Asia

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific