AR Rahman's Wembley concert 'fiasco' reeks of ignorance, linguistic imperialism

A sizeable proportion of concert-goers in Wembley London, walked out of AR Rahman's gig on 8 July, 2017. The reason? The Oscar-winning composer sang a total of 28 songs, out of which 16 were Hindi and 12, Tamil, as per Hindustan Times.

Since then, many attendees have expressed their displeasure on Twitter, asking for a refund.

We (like any other level-headed person) have some issues with this.

A.R. Rahman during the concert. Image from Twitter.

A.R. Rahman during the concert. Image from Twitter.

Most of these complains are from some ignorant North Indians who did not expect the singer to go on a Tamil singing spree. Nevermind the fact that the concert was titled 'Netru, Indru, Naalai' (Tamil for yesterday, today, tomorrow). Or that he himself is a Tamilian.

AR Rahman is often referred to as the "Mozart of Madras". He debuted in the music industry with the 1992 Tamil film, Roja. It could not be more obvious that a lot of people associate him with the South Indian music industry.

Regionalising someone who is paramount to the Indian music scene reeks of incognizance. Not only that, it's also hypocritical to praise him for composing music for an English film if we cannot sit through a few Tamil songs.

The act, although, being taken lightly, also bears a sense of foreboding. North Indians getting miffed with South Indian languages and their usage has been a longstanding issue in India.

A lot of Indians also seem to think that Hindi is the national language of India, conveniently forgetting that there is no directive that declares Hindi as our national language. Also, linguistic imperialism should not be finding its way into the country again. Our ancestors fought hard to trump it.

Everyone ranting on Twitter asking for a refund, needs to calm down. We as a nation cannot afford to have a North vs. South debate at this point, when the nation is already crippled with a religious hostility.


Published Date: Jul 14, 2017 01:00 pm | Updated Date: Jul 14, 2017 01:01 pm