Film music composer Allah Rakha Rahman (AR Rahman) has stirred a controversy by depicting the Goddess of Tamil as a ghost-like illustration and is playing the regional sentiments by playing the ‘Tamil identity’ genre politics. Rahman, formerly known as A. S Dilip Kumar, has never shied away to reinforce his Muslim identity and exhibited fundamentalism by undermining the faith of his own colleagues.
On 8 April 2022, AR Rahman shared an illustration of the Tamil Goddess on his social media pages, which had ‘Thamizhinangu’ written, a word from Tamil Thai Vaazhthu (invocation to Goddess Tamil). It also had a tag line that said, “Beloved Tamil is the root of our existence”, a line written by poet Bharathidasan. Reacting to this image, netizens termed it a cryptic response to Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks about the usage of Hindi as a link language for all Indians to communicate.
A couple of days later, Rahman, while participating at ‘Dakshin’, a South India Media and Entertainment Summit organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), said that Tamil is the link language of India while responding to a question about Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks.
In June 2019, on the three-language policy present in the Draft National Education Policy, Rahman had tweeted: “AUTONOMOUS | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary,” with a web link of the word’s meaning in the dictionary. When the Centre dropped Hindi and added ‘any other Indian language’ to the draft, Rahman said, “Good decision. Hindi is not compulsory in Tamil Nadu. The draft has been corrected.” He conveniently forgot that most of his composed films are in Hindi.
What is intriguing is the timing and politics behind Rahman’s latest post on ‘Goddess Tamil’ and his subsequent love for ‘Tamil is the link language for India’ comment. It is something that cannot be overlooked as it comes just 15 days after CM Stalin and his family visited the former’s studio in Dubai.
He is a musical genius who put India on the world map with his music. His ‘Vande Mataram’ rendition will make everyone, even hardcore ‘Dravidian Stockiest’, beam with pride about being an Indian. But his true face is different- a Muslim fanatic- if we go by the following incidents.
Famous award-winning Tamil poet Piraisoodan recalled he was asked to remove the sacred ash and vermilion by Rahman’s mother. (Rahman and his family had already converted to Islam). He refused to remove the Hindu religious marks on his forehead, saying that he has had them since childhood.
Late lyricist Vaali said his song, an ode to mothers, which Rahman objected to, saying Islam does not allow him to equate mother with his God. So Vaali had to change the lyrics. Rahman did not compose the Ayyappa Song in the film Boys (2003). Even the cassette/CD cover of the music album does not mention the Ayyappa Song as it would be in contradiction to his Islamic beliefs. (it was composed by his music programmer Pravin Mani.) But Rahman had composed the ‘Anbendra Mazhayile‘, a song adoring Jesus from the film Minsara Kanavu (1997). Why this selective hatred against one particular religion is a moot point that every fan needs to ask.