The Jana gana mana song from Rann had come under the scrutiny of the censor board recently. In a May 8 order, the censor board had asked for the deletion of certain “objectionable references” to the national anthem and banned the song from being promoted.
In response, producer-director Ramgopal Varma moved the Supreme Court for violation of the fundamental right to freedom of expression. But the vacation bench of Justice VS Sirpurkar and Justice RM Lodha was not impressed.
Defending his song, lyricist Sarim Momin asserts that the intention was not to “pull a gimmick.” He says that Varma, whom he’s been working with since D, approached him for a song that reflected a battle fought not on land but in the minds of every human being.
“And the words Jana gana mana rann hai, iss rann mein zakhm hua hai... came along organically,” he recalls.
Momin says that the need to use a familiar song stemmed from the desire to create a forceful impact that would shake people out of their slumber and prod them into doing something concrete.
He maintains that since the song was aired on YouTube, it has found plenty of support that is reflected in a site, janaganamanarannhai.com. “Sure I get hate mail too, but that’s one in every 10. Had it not made an impression, I wouldn’t have minded so much, but now that it has, I would want it to reach out to more people. I’m hopeful that the censor board will understand that our intention is not to insult but inspire.”