At the Delhi edition of the NH7 Weekender held in Dwarka, AR Rahman’s headlining act had a post script. “Change the country. Spread love,” he said to a sea of festivalgoers who screamed back, most in agreement. He had just charmed the audience with his gig.
A few days ago, Rahman had expressed solidarity with Aamir Khan over the “growing intolerance” in the country and made a reference to the fatwa issued on him for composing music for Iranian director Majid Majidi’s film Muhammad: Messenger of God. He termed the artistes’ protest “poetic”.
Performing minutes before him at the NH7 Weekender, Grammy-nominated violinist L Subramaniam too spoke about the issue. In conversation with The Indian Express, he said, “India is one of the greatest and most tolerant countries. The fact that somebody can speak against somebody and it can be broadcast and published in newspapers and accepted, shows that we are tolerant. Something like this doesn’t happen in Middle Eastern countries. I have been in certain countries where you say one word, and people have disappeared,” said Subramaniam. After his performance at NH7 Weekender on Saturday, along with son Ambi, he performed at a pre-wedding function of Arun Jaitley’s daughter Sonali.
Speaking about the Aamir Khan controversy and the return of awards by writers and filmmakers, Subramaniam added, “Violence isn’t new in India, but we tolerated everything then and didn’t react like this. I think there should be discussions, there should be debates and every individual has the right to say what they want to say. If someone is given recognition by someone or the government, it’s a separate issue and should not be linked to tolerance. You have to give respect to the government, respect to India.”