Rahman’s tune rejected by Indian classical masters

Updated: Sep 10, 2010, 19:37 PM IST

Spicezee Bureau

Mumbai: After facing flak for the Commonwealth Games theme song, AR Rahman is in trouble again. His new creation has been rejected by six masters of Indian classical dance, who were supposed to perform on it.

Pandit Birju Maharaj, Raja Reddy, Saroja Vaidyanathan, Sonal Mansingh, Bharati Shivaji and Guru Singhajit have rejected Rahman’s ‘Aao Balam’ song which was scheduled for the opening ceremony of the Games. Talking to a news daily, Birju Maharaj said, “The song was just not going with the aesthetics of the Indian classical dance and the guru-shishya parampara that we are trying to showcase in this section.”

Apparently, the six masters had a meeting with the Core Creative Advisory Committee, which comprises of Bharat Bala, Javed Akhtar, Shyam Benegal and Shovana Narayan, who finally accepted the decision and settled for Vedic chants as the introductory song.

“The Veda recitation works for me and I am glad Bharat Bala and the rest of the members have agreed with us, otherwise it would have sacrificed a lot of dramatic sensibility,” Reddy said.

“Classical musicians and dancers are used to doing things in a particular way. They train and learn their art form in an extremely orthodox way and a particular strict system. So purist notions are bound to clash with that of some other people. I think it is a legitimate concern. But at the same time I would like to say that it is not a big deal as these issues come up when the actual practices begin. Improvisations like these are required from time to time,” said Benegal.

Two weeks ago the Organising Committee had launched Rahman’s theme song for the Commonwealth Games. However, the song was severely criticised. BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra even blasted Rahman for charging an exorbitant fee of Rs 5 crore for an insipid anthem.