It is the costliest song that Oscar winner AR Rahman has composed in his career. It is, in all likelihood, the most controversial too. But we’re yet to hear it. With eight — yes, just eight days left for the Commonwealth Games, hardly anyone in the Capital has heard Rahman’s CWG anthem, Jiyo Utho Badho Jeeto, which he charged a whopping R 5 crore to compose. Expected to ‘sing along in the true spirit of the Games’, Delhiites are as clueless about the tune as they are of the lyrics.
The CWG authorities are equally clueless about when ...and how would Delhi get to hear it. “The song is ready and the tapes will be released soon, but we have not decided the date for the release yet,” says Lalit Bhanot, Secretary General, Organising Committee, CWG. We reiterate — only eight days left!
Barring an odd clip now and then, TV channels and radio stations are not playing it because they don’t have the required rights. Music stores in the city have no idea when and if the CDs will be out. “I have heard the song but we are not playing it on our radio station, despite getting many requests, as we don’t have the rights yet,” says RJ Tuhin of Fever 104 FM. “I’ve had customers at my store asking for the CWG anthem CD, but we don’t have it yet,” says Rahul Kumar, of Planet M, Lajpat Nagar. “We have not been approached by the CWG authorities to play the anthem in our halls in between movies or during interval,” says Shirish Handa of Fun Cinemas.
It may be recalled that Waka Waka, the anthem for FIFA World Cup in South Africa was released months before the tournament and almost the entire country knew the song by heart before the opening ceremony. “India is anyway too embarrassed about what is happening in CWG. Who cares whether the anthem is released or not?” asks adman Prahlad Kakkar. Youngsters, too, feel let down. “When the FIFA World Cup happened, even India was busy singing Waka Waka way before the actual event. This is our own event, and we still haven’t heard the anthem,” says Abhay Puri, a student.
AR Rahman did not respond to queries about the likely date for the anthem’s launch.