Ram Gopal Varma and controversy go hand in hand. The latest one is around his forthcoming movie Rann and the promotional song that has been released titled Jana Gana Mana Rann.
In this interview, Varma speaks about the song and fields queries on whether it is morally correct to base a song on the Indian National Anthem and how the song was conceived in the first place.
Isn’t it morally incorrect to demean the National Anthem?
Of course it is morally incorrect and completely unpatriotic to demean the National Anthem. However, this song isn’t and shouldn’t be misconstrued to be an aberration on the National Anthem. It’s a song by itself that in a way tries to depict the current situation in the country. The reference to the National Anthem is also for the same.
Is it illegal to dissect the National Anthem and use it for your own purpose like you’ve used to publicize your film Rann?
I feel this song, only depicts what some characters of this film feel is the current state of affairs in the country. If one was to notice carefully, it isn’t a dissection of the National Anthem nor is it an attempt to do so. Yes, for obvious reasons it sounds like it, but if one was to notice carefully, the National Anthem talks a completely different language and this song talks of the battleground that our land has become today.
How was Jana Gana Mana Rann conceived?
This song stemmed out from the fact that today freedom of speech is actually curtailed and the freedom that we actually fought for somewhere is back to being controlled and manipulated in the hands of someone or the other.
What is the idea behind Jana Gana Mana Rann?
The idea behind the song is strongly tied in with the premise of the film. The film showcases the lengths people would go in order to secure the all consuming power of controlling the people’s mind space. The song talks about, how this largest democracy in the world runs the greatest risk of being manipulated by a few minds to promote their personal interests. It tells how a Nation once regarded as the most secular, cohesive and peaceful is now being broken down to pieces. Are we awake to this fact or just sleepwalking through it? Is it victory or death?
What is your take on the promo?
Well I think this is a song that resonates the very thought of the film. No one should misconstrue this song as meaning anything else or as one that is meant to offend anyone’s sentiments.
What do you believe will be the mass reaction to this promotional song promo?
They would appreciate it. Everyone understands and realizes the current state of affairs of our country.
This isn’t a publicity stunt, is it?
It’s a creation meant for and lending support solely to the premise of the film. We believe the audience today is intelligent and don’t fall for so called ‘stunts’.
Is this supported or endorsed by any political party?
This is not a song pro or against any political party or any political element. It is very clear if you listen to the lyrics. It’s not meant to be provocative nor is it meant to violate. It’s the state of the Nation the song highlights and if anything it would be accepted by each and every Indian.
Will this song be broadcast as a promotional song?
This song will be made available to anyone and everyone. It’s not something to be apologetic about, but something that you listen to, understand and acknowledge. It’s the state of the Nation and every Indian should know it, so that he or she can do something about it.
Why do you think Jana Gana Mana Rann is relevant in today’s time?
This song is extremely relevant simply because it voices the truth, the real sorry state of today’s affairs. Yes, we have great economic growth and are the rising superpower, while the world talks of that, here we lie warring amongst each other, looking for excuses, sparking communal violence. In this situation we have lost our voice, this song merely states that.