Rahman says his comments on `Dam 999` twisted out of context

Chennai: Double Oscar-winning musician AR Rahman today said that his comments, lauding the music director of controversial film `Dam 999` for being included in the longlist of the Academy awards, was being "twisted out of context".

At a recent film function in Agra, Rahman had lauded the composer of the film, Ousepachan, as a "fellow music director", for being one among 97 composers whose works are up for a nomination at the Oscars.

"But some people are twisting it out of context. This is regrettable," he said in a statement here.

Rahman said he had been in the US for three weeks and "I am not aware of the gravity of the issue involving Tamil Nadu and Kerala (on the Mullaperiyar dam issue). I am indebted to the Tamil people as they have been a pillar and support in my growth," he said.

Holding that many countries were amazed at the "rapid pace" of India`s growth, the 45-year-old composer said the key reason for this was "our unity which has to be maintained."

He said he respected the stand of former President APJ Abdul Kalam on this issue, who has favoured inter-linking of rivers to solve water problems.

He had also said that water cannot be a source of conflict and that the country cannot afford a war on water.

Screening of the Sohan Roy directed `Dam 999`, which deals with the breaking of a dam, had been banned in Tamil Nadu in the wake of the Mullaperiar row, saying it would create law and order problems.

The film`s three songs - `Dam 999 Theme song`, `Dakkanga Dugu Dugu` and `Mujhe Chodke` - are among the 39 tracks selected for the Academy`s Original Songs category.