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An anthem for stripey

music Updated: Oct 22, 2010 01:42 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
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The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), previously known as Project Tiger, along with the Ministry of Environment & Forest (MOEF), have roped in lyricist-composer-singer Abhishek Ray to compose the first ‘official’ tiger anthem. The song will be launched in Delhi on October 22.

The Hindi track that goes as Tiger se jungle, jungle se barish, barish se nadiyan, nadiyon se hai haryali, tiger hain to hum bhi hain, tum bhi ho..., will be translated into 15 Indian languages and played on Doordarshan and All India Radio. The accompanying video, featuring

Ray and singer Kavita Krishnamurthy, along with ‘live’ footage of wildlife, will be uploaded on the NPCA website. Number to nature

“The Aircel campaign featuring Stripey the Cub created urban awareness, but had little connect with the people in remote villages, for whom 1,411 tigers were one too many. My song moves from a number to nature to drive home the message that if the tiger goes, he will not go alone. You may soon follow,” says Ray, whose song came together in four months flat.

Ray admits that it’s not a happy song — there’s an underlying threat and it ends on a grey note. “But that was essential because without fear, there can be no redemption,” adds Ray, who had earlier worked on a trilogy of albums with Gulzar.

Ray, a serious conservationist and an approved tiger and lion tracker, has in the past decade, travelled to many remote villages to gather data for the government’s census.

Ray says that in 99 per cent of the villages that lie on the fringe of the virgin forests, locals look upon the tigers as pests, who prey on their livestock.

Saving our future
“If the tiger became an extinct, the eco-system will collapse too and that would put a full stop to our existence,” argues Ray.

Ray, who debuted in Bollywood with the background score of Haasil and is currently working on the scores of Shaagird and Paan Singh Tomar, has also composed another song on the subject that encompasses a concern, which if not addressed today, could be the end of our tomorrows. Hopefully, it will strike the right chord.