“Script writers play a key role in the making of a film hence they should get their credit for their hard work in a movie because a film cannot be formulated without them,” said Mega star Amitabh Bachchan at the DVD release of the film PIKU, which incidentally won applause for its innovative and well-knit script.
However the tragedy is that since the inception of cinema Bollywood has never treated its writers with due credits and even today the condition prevail. Except few notable writers like Salim Javed, K.A. Abbas, Gulzar, etc. most have been neglected lot.
A look at some of the hits films of last year like MARDANI, MARY KOM, PK and the movies that have registered their names in first half of 2015 as hits like NH10, BADLAPUR, TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS, DUM LAGA KE HAISHA, PIKU and ABCD 2 - are all content oriented movies and the real hero of these film are their brilliant writers but alas does anybody know who are the writers of these films?
Does anybody recognize Anjum Rajabali, the writer who has spent over 20 years in the Indian film industry with super hit films like Aamir Khan’s GHULAM, Ajay Devgans’s APAHARAN, THE LEGEND OF BHAGAT SINGH and hard-hitting social films like SATYAGRAHA, AARAKSHAN and RAAJNEETI.
Being a senior writer he lambasts, “Unlike Western countries, where a strike by the Writers Guild of America can cripple Hollywood, Bollywood hardly pays any attention to its writers and they are among the most underpaid people in the industry.” He adds, "I know of budding writers who have worked for peanuts, literally. They are paid paltry sums of 25,000 rupees for scripting an entire film,"
Another immensely talented writer of contemporary cinema is Abhijat Joshi but the name is still to win acclaim but you name his movies like LAGE RAHO MUNNA BHAI, 3 IDIOTS and Aamir Khan’s PK and you accolade his contribution.
Criticizing Bollywood for giving step motherly treatment to its writers Joshi says, “The story is the hero of a film as most my films have proved. Hence I think writing is as important as the star cast or the direction. But alas in Bollywood, writers have often been neglected and underpaid.”