Letter from the Chairman, IPRS – Mr. Javed Akhtar | COVID-19
Dear Members and friends,
“That which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
During the London Olympics, these words from Tennyson’s Ulysses found a place as an inscription in the center of the Olympics village, to inspire athletes and Londoners, alike. The significance of these lines dawns on me heavily today as the country faces unprecedented uncertainty while we grapple to hold on to a sense of semblance and hope. Just like those champions I draw my strength from these lines, for Tennyson rightly points out that humanity’s most noble quest is to overcome setbacks. But there comes a time when even champions are struggling to find strength within, then you must seek strength from your community. At the end of the day, we become stronger together. That’s where IPRS plays a small yet significant role.
The Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) has always stood together with its community of creators and this time too we stand in solidarity with our champions. The distress faced by our members has been compounded manifolds by financial hardship and this is what I feel we must focus on right now. The bigger concern I would like to address is that our Music industry is still an unorganized sector. Therefore, the entire music fraternity comprising music creators, performers, technicians, and the labour force has been deeply impacted by the Covid crisis right now. The importance of being represented as a community is felt now more than ever. The urge is to bring together the stakeholders from the music industry and find ways to restructure the work process to lead a sustainable future for music and the community as a whole. This will ensure adequate support and prepare the fraternity for any adversity. My own time is now dedicated to focusing on Covid 19 and how IPRS can best play this role. I want you all to know that IPRS will continue to do its part by safeguarding the rights and livelihood of the members and will continue looking for newer opportunities to help.
The fog of uncertainty and a grave crisis impacting millions of lives looms large yet again. Our hearts are breaking as we witness the fall-out of the second wave of this dreaded pandemic across the nation which has affected health for many and livelihood for many more. We at IPRS, pledge our support to the vulnerable in the music creator community by announcing the release of an emergency relief fund to over 3000 of our author and composer members across cities, who are still struggling to earn enough due to the nationwide crisis. We have taken all required measures to facilitate the distribution of the relief fund on an exigent basis. This is one of the many initiatives that we are aiming for. Going forward, we are looking at devising long-term plans to ensure a more stable future for our members.
As a Copyright Society, we are the custodians of our creator members and we’ve given a great deal of thought to how we can strengthen our community, drive change for our people and empower them for a better and viable future.
I hope that you and your loved ones are well and safe. I know that we’re going to get through this, together. I sincerely believe that collectively, we can make a big difference. In closing I once again recall another line from Ulysses which has found its way in my writing desk, Tennyson says and I quote,
“Come, my friends,
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.”