Oscar-winning music composer A.R. Rahman, who was in the news for his spirited responses to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s stand that Hindi should replace English as the link language between different linguistic groups, emphasised the importance of English at an event in Mumbai yesterday.
English, he said, is a global language and helps break barriers. He was speaking at the unveiling of the second season of Nexa Music, which identifies emerging talent in English music.
When asked if he would like to come up with a similar talent sourcing and identification series like Nexa Music in India’s regional languages, the composer gave a categorical response. “The movie industry is doing great with music in Indian languages,” said the man who has been hailed as the ‘Mozart of Madras’. “This initiative is focused on making our artistes global so that they can compete for Grammys and be on international platforms.”
The world of music is “out of ideas,” the maestro said. “The rest of the world is waiting for India in terms of music,” he added.
On an altogether different but heartfelt note, Rahman said that sometimes pressure extracts the best out of people. As he put it: “It’s good to put people on the edge, it gives amazing results.”
Earlier, during the language controversy, the composer had shared a post about ‘Beloved Tamil’ along with an illustration of ‘Thamizhanangu’ of ‘Goddess Tamil’, which is a word from the Tamil anthem penned by Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai.
The anthem includes a line penned by Bharathidasan, a Tamil poet of the 20th century, in ‘Thamilyakkam’, an anthology of Tamil poetry. The line reads: “Beloved Tamil is the root of our existence.”