With 'new Bollywood songs' being written and composed solely for "dance and entertainment", popular lyricist Prasoon Joshi believes that over years the quality of lyrics has deteriorated over the years.
"With the new kind of music coming in, the major purpose of any song is to entertain and dance. They are mostly made to promote a movie and that is why the inherent poetry is lost," he said.
The lyricist who has penned songs like 'Sasuraal Genda Phool' (Delhi-6) and 'Maa' (Taare Zameen Par), said he had declined several offers to write songs that only served the purpose of marketing a film.
Joshi said that he wrote only when there was something "worthy" for him to say, and that his contribution towards any song was of a "conductor" who refrained from resisting the thoughts that came to his mind.
"Mostly when I am approached to write lyrics for such songs, I decline. I only write when I feel there is something worthy for me to say.
"My contribution in any song is of a worthy conductor. I always try that there is no resistance within me. I never choose the thoughts rather they choose me," he said.
Having written peppy songs like "Havan Karenge" from "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag" the award-winning lyricist said even foot-tapping songs can be meaningful.
"Although there are always exceptions, I believe there should be a little more space for songs which have meaning to them. Even if I write any such song, I try to say something through the lyrics," he said.
Speaking at a session titled, "Urdu Ke Zer-E-Saaya" at the ongoing Jash-e-Rekhta festival, Joshi said it was imperative for the society to preserve the essence of language and culture in the wake of "changing trends".
"The concept of marketing has certainly had an adverse impact on the art form but we must realise that a song sells only because people buy it.
"Time has come for the audience to reject such products. We can not keep complaining about it and buying it at the same time. It is the collective responsibility of the society to see that the essence of culture, language as well as poetry is preserved," he said.
Joshi also called for an increased use of endangered languages in Indian cinema.
"There are several languages which are considered endangered and unfortunately have no space even in our cinema. Something which is dying should be preserved. These languages should be practised more to highlight their relevance," he said.
Having developed a liking for Urdu literature at an early age of fifteen, when he began reading the works of Saadat Hasan Manto, Joshi said shayari was about articulating one's own experiences in life, rather that reiterating someone else's words.
"To say what somebody has already said is not shayari. It is your own truth and your experiences in life that make actual shayari," he said.