Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The lyricist of 'Jana Gana Mana Rann' song talks on the unnecessary controversy

by Devansh Patel

It's the RGV controversy season yet again as this director loves to be hated. With much said and done about the controversial song depicting the Indian National Anthem in his recently launched song promo of Rann, the lyrics Jana Gana Mana Rann have now come in the eyes of the censors. Now in a do or die situation, RGV fights his own battle in the Rann. Will one man, lyricist of Jana Gana Mana Rann, Sarim Momin come to the rescue of RGV and his Rann? Without losing focus on the media and politics, Ramu nails the adrenaline rush of breaking news and emphasizes the power of a medium being used to its potential. The director's strongest promo show the calm before the storm, signifying the start of what will be a historic broadcast, or will it? Censors may apply their own politics to it, but they're missing the point. This is an incendiary attack on complacency but the Rann promo occupies a chapter of history when words spoken via television captured a national audience. It should raise the pulse and bubble the red blood of any audience members proud enough to call themselves Indians. As RGV has used the line - Truth is Terrible. Bollywood Hungama's London correspondent and UK's Harrow Observer columnist Devansh Patel brings you Sarim's take on the controversy and a song that is dear to his heart which he thinks should be dear to all the citizens of India

Sarim Momin:
When I was writing this song, I wanted to capture the emotions of a situation in the film where the citizens of India are asked to wake up; To wake up and realize that we are not being fair to the country by letting anti-national powers flourish for their personal gains, that we are surrendering the very freedom that we fought for, that we are dividing the country when we should actually stand up united for it’s progress.

Now, if we had used lines like “Jaag jao… Bhaarat ko bachaao’ or ‘Humari jaan Hindustaan’, maximum reaction would have been a yawn or a raise of an eyebrow. Or both, if somebody really liked it and were generous.

It would NOT have made people sit up and think about the current state.

Diverting from the song for a moment, the Election Commission started many campaigns this year to urge Indians to come out and vote yet the turnout was only around 50%. It’s not like we don’t care. It’s just that we don’t care enough to make an effort to even elect the best men to decide the future and fate of our country. We are comfortably numb and almost sleepy to what is happening to us.

And how do we wake up a person who is asleep? Do we sing lullaby to him? Or do we shrug him and shake him out of sleep?

As the script demanded it, with this song the characters want to shrug and shake people out of their slumber; make them realize that India is wounded. It needs us, the citizens to come forward and help it.
By now, we were clear that we wanted the song to be intense and hard-hitting; an eye-opener!! Any ‘Jaag jao… Bhaarat ko bachaao’ wouldn’t have served the purpose.

Since the film RANN is not about a battle fought on the borders of India but it is about the battle that all of us fight within ourselves, the words were meant to express “There is a battle in the minds of all people” and literally they translated into ‘Jana Gann Mana Rann hai’. This was the birth of this song.

Yes, there is a reference to the respected National Anthem of our country but this song is NOT our National Anthem nor is it demeaning or insulting it in any way. While the National Anthem speaks about India and Victory, this song talks about the ‘need’ to achieve that victory by keeping India united today. Infact it reaffirms all the goodness that the National Anthem stands for. But at the end of the day, it is just a song by itself pertaining to the script and the scenes of the film.
How can you call it National Anthem when there are 100 different words used in it? (Yes I counted, 100 words!!)

Kindly go through the lyrics once and decide for yourself if there is any insult to India…
Kindly understand the intent before blindly judging the content…
Kindly ask yourself if you don’t really want India to be free from all corruption, bloodshed and destruction…
Kindly be honest…

This song reinforces and urges citizens to respect India, its greatness and it’s National Anthem.
If anyone thinks that it is a crime to ask Indians to stand up and help India be the glorious Country that it was, then I have only one thing to say…

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