Tamil Nadu

A R Rahman 2.0?

On Tuesday morning, A R Rahman tweeted “2.0 in China. Are you ready?” His reference was to the Rajinikanth-Akshay Kumar starrer.

But it would seem the 2.0 version of the usually shy and tongue-tied AR Rahman has released in India. And it is the draft version of the National Education policy 2019 of the Union HRD ministry that seems to have got the celebrated music composer’s goat.

But unlike other activists from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka who protested vociferously against imposition of Hindi, Rahman let subtlety convey the message. And like his music, his tweet was healing as well. He tweeted a link of Sikh singer Jasdeep Jogi’s rendition of “Innum konjam naerum” Tamil number from the film `Maryan’ composed originally by Rahman. And wrote : “Tamizh is spreading in Punjab”. 

The point Rahman was making was music and language know no boundaries. There ought to be no rules on embracing a new language, a new culture. He was making a case against using language to create barriers – your language Hindi, my language Tamil kind of clash – and speaking of a language of India where several language live together beautifully and in harmony. Learn the language of others with love and respect but do not shove it down anyone’s throat that you got to learn it.

When the HRD ministry withdrew the draft notification, Rahman welcomed it in a tweet in Tamil, calling it a welcome move. 

On Tuesday, Rahman put out what seemed like an innocuous tweet. But it wasn’t. He wrote : “AUTONOMOUS | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary” and added the link to it. `Autonomous’ meant having the power to make your own decisions, independent and having the freedom to govern itself”. 

In the present context, it can only be interpreted as a sly dig at the Tamil Nadu government which failed to protest effectively to the Centre, against the attempted move to impose Hindi. 

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