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The Controversial Song: Unveiling the Story Behind ‘Man Created Religions and Religions Created Gods’

# Ravi Menon 09 September 2023, 09:00 PM IST From the song Nuru Nuru Pularikal

The theme is a single word from a classic song that won even a national award. Song: “Man Created Religions and Religions Created Gods” composed by Vayalar and Devarajan for the film Dadam and Bappa (1972).

In the gramophone record of the film, Yesudas sings that “India has become a madhouse when we are seen as Hindus, Muslims and Christians”. When the same song becomes the background song on the silver screen, India in the song becomes the world. Let us hear in the voice of Yesudas that “the world has become a madhouse”.

The end has been left wondering what is behind the veil. The director of the film K. S. When Sethumadhavan was asked, he replied that he did not remember. Yesudas, who won the National Award for the best singer of the year with this song, finally gave a clear explanation. The villain of the story is the Censor Board that interfered with Vayalar’s philosophical writing.

The members of the Censor Board who saw the film could not bear that the poet had turned India into a madhouse. Maybe because the tone of anti-nationalism is embedded in it. They said that the line can be changed immediately. Without change, Viola himself suggests the necessary change in the song. Yesudas comes and records the rewritten song for the second time.

LP of the film Since the record had already been released, there was no need to change the song. That’s how “Loka” is on film and “India” on disc. Also see “India Madhouse” in Vayalar’s film song anthologies. That is what he wrote in the original version. The same song won Vayalar the National Award for Best Lyricist.

Yesudas had to change another song due to the interference of the Censor Board. Experience shared by Sreekumaran Thambi. It was the late 1960s. The time when the Naxalbari movement took root in Kerala too. Thambi is penning a song for Sasikumar’s action-humor film “Love in Kerala”. The song begins with Mao Tse Tung’s Chinese revolutionary slogan: “Let a hundred flowers bloom.” Music by Baburaj. The scene is sung by KP Ummer.

The Censor Board feared that even though the song is an accompaniment to the drunken dance of the bandit’s beauty in the film, its inception would inspire the growth of the Naxal movement in our country. Vashi told the board to give permission for the film only if the song is dropped. At least that line can be omitted.

“When the song was shot, there was no option but to make a small change in the first line,” recalls Thampi. The lip movement was not injured much as the dawn came in the place of the flower.”

Although the Censor Board approved the change in the refrain and cleared the film, the old “poov” bloomed on the gramophone record of the song. That’s why Akashvani didn’t broadcast that song. Thus Malayalees got to listen to two versions of the same song in the movie and on record.

Obscenity in movies is still a topic of discussion today. However, the censor board generally leaves the songs alone. This may be due to changing views on morality.

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