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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

AR Rahman reacts to Hosanna controversy

Prashant Singh, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 20, 2012
First Published: 10:44 IST(20/1/2012) | Last Updated: 10:53 IST(20/1/2012)

Music maestro AR Rahman’s latest composition Hosanna… from the Prateik-Amy Jackson starrer Ekk Deewana Tha may have earned a few fans, but it hasn’t amused a certain lot from the Christian Secular Forum (CSF). According to the religious group, Hosanna is a prayer in the Bible and the term is sacred to both Jews and Christians.

Surprised with the objection, the Academy Award-winning musician defends his work, saying, “I had spent several months doing research before composing and writing the songs for the film. I had also consulted friends, who are Christian, about the usage of the word ‘Hosanna’.”

At the same time, Rahman insists that he is “deeply concerned about the sentiments of all those who appear to be hurt by the song.”

According to recent reports, the CSF was contemplating taking legal action against the makers of the film, if the song wasn’t edited out of the final cut. However, producers Fox Star Studios released a statement on Thursday saying, “Our view is that, more often than not, creativity, freedom of speech and expression in art forms are stifled by some people who have their own agendas.”



Directed by Gautham Menon, Ekk Deewana Tha is a remake of the Tamil film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010), which was also directed by him. Rahman, who also composed the music for the original film, had written a Tamil version of the track Hosanna… in 2010. Wondering why the use of the term didn’t receive any criticism back then, he adds, “It was a sensation when it was released in the south a couple of years ago. It went on to win all possible music awards and was well received by all communities.”

Apparently, representatives from the CSF expressed their concern to Rahman, the film’s lyricist Javed Akhtar and some others at Fox Star Studios and Sony Music via e-mails.

Hosanna is a word from Judaism and Christianity. It is the cry of praise or adoration shouted in recognition of Jesus.

Akhtar reiterates that the makers didn’t mean to hurt any sentiments: “The intention is never to insult any religion. And why would we?”

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