Why Jana Gana Mana RANN?

Apparently some people are saying that I have done this for publicity. Of course, I have done it for publicity. Without exception, any material that goes out of a filmmaker’s office be it by way of interviews, or by way of audio-visual, or music pieces, or anything else is to garner publicity for his film. I have made a film, and I want as many people out there as possible to know that this film will soon come to their theatres and I also want them to know what my film is going to be all about.

With RANN I want to bring to people’s attention the battle that they are fighting with the powers-that-be of our so-called civilized society. But now it is claimed that some people have got upset over the promo because of the usage of the song. If I had known that before, as the conspiracy theories are alleging, my question to them is why would I deliberately want to turn them off against my own film when they too are my audience?

To start with, the ’Rann’ song is not the national anthem. It’s just an inspiration from what the national anthem stands for. The national anthem in totality has a completely different meaning compared to that of the ‘Rann’ song. However the ‘Rann’ song stands for exactly what the national anthem stands for albeit in today’s time and in consideration of what we as a people of the country are going through.

There was no attempt on my part to ridicule or demean or show the national anthem in a bad or comic light for it to offend people. In a soulful voice and with heart-touching lyrics it seeks to draw attention of all concerned to the problems that the country has.

If the question “Why Jana Gana Mana Rann?” is pertinent, the answer too is pertinent. All one needs to do is to very seriously listen to the ‘Rann’ lyrics carefully and attempt to dispute the truth in them. We keep screaming “Incredible India”, “Mera Bharat Mahaan” etc with a halo of well-intended but truly misplaced self-praise. While it may fool the eyes of some tourists etc, the hard cold facts concerning the reality about India is not unknown to the people of the country.

Terrorism, poverty, riots, debt-ridden farmers suicides, dowry deaths, rapes, murders, drought, famine, flood have become mere symbols that are highlighted as conscious awakeners for vote banks, while people’s hearts are bent on their own self preservation. The nation is in a danger of becoming impotent by choice of not reacting and it’s this sad state of affairs that I wanted to decry in the emotions behind the song Jana Gana Mana Ran, by exercising my fundamental right for freedom of speech and expression which is guaranteed to me by the Constitution of India under Article 19. And now my question to the detractors is, what better instrument could I have had to highlight this cause, than an inspiration from the National Anthem itself that we as a nation so often proudly give lip to but always forget to honour?
– Ram Gopal Varma
 
“Where the mind is without fear, and the head is held high, Where knowledge is free, Where the world has not been broken into fragments by narrow domestic walls, Where words come out from the depth of truth, Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection, Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is lead forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action, Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake”
 – Rabindranath Tagore
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