In an entertainment industry, notorious for being tight-fisted, Arbaaz
Khan showed exemplary generosity on Sunday afternoon, his day off from
official work, when he trudged down specially to his office to hand over
a cheque of Rs1.5 lakhs to the family of Raziya Begum, the deceased
singer from Lucknow who sang 'Launda Badnaam Hua
', an early version of the 'Munni Badnaam
The cheque was quietly handed over by Arbaaz to the needy family, which
was on the verge of destitution, without any fuss or fanfare. In fact,
Arbaaz didn't allow even a photograph to be taken.
After receiving the cheque, the grateful daughter of the deceased singer
said, "We contacted Arbaaz Saab in December about our mother's song. He
immediately without hesitation agreed to compensate us after the New
Year. We again contacted him last week. He told us to come to Mumbai
anytime before the 10th January. We reached Mumbai on 9th morning and
were asked to go to Arbaaz's office. Though it was Sunday, he came to
the office for us. Within minutes he handed over the cheque of Rs.1.5
lakhs to us."
The impoverished family left for Lucknow with a collective smile on
Arbaaz was embarrassed to talk about the experience. "It was just a
token gesture. Very frankly, we didn't owe Raziya Begum any
compensation. 'Munni Badnaam
' is a traditional folk tune. Razia Begum sang and so did many other including Mamta Sharma in Dabangg
. Folk songs belong to nobody. But in this case, I decided give over a small amount."
When reminded that Rs.1.5 lakh is not a small amount for a low-income
family in Lucknow, Arbaaz said, "It's a small amount for me. If it means
something to them why not? I first decided to give them lesser amount.
But when I saw their condition, I was happy to give them what I did."
Arbaaz was saddened to know that Raziya Begum was no more. "I would have
been much happier giving the cheque to Raziya Begum. Now that she is no
more, I just hope they use the money well."
Incidentally, Arbaaz didn't want the incident to be highlighted. "A
photograph would have been embarrassing for me and potentially dangerous
for them. They live in a low-income mohallah
in Lucknow where neighbours would not react well to their coming into sudden money."
Arbaaz wants to make it clear that he owes none of the claimants over 'Munni Badnaam
any compensation. "If I've made a token gesture to a family that needed
the money, it doesn't mean I will pay up to anyone who claims to have a
connection with the songs. I already have another claimant from Kolkata
on my head. Quite frankly, the origin of the song is not my
responsibility. The claimants should contact the music company or the
With no moral or legal obligation to fulfill, that was a very generous
thing that you did with Raziya Begum's family, Arbaaz. We hope your
colleagues in Bollywood would open their fists and learn that charity is
best performed without a battery of cameras to record the gesture.
awww I was so proud reading this