The raging debate in the country over nepotism in the movie industry, which erupted after the tragic death of 34-year-old actor Sushant Singh Rajput, seems to have now opened a hornet’s nest as more voices are coming out sharing their story of suppression in the industry. Joining the ranks of Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, singer Sonu Nigam, music maestro and Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman too opened up about his experience about a vicious ‘gang’ that has been working tirelessly to ensure that he finds less work in Bollywood.
The legendary music director, speaking to a media, recently said that he has been forced to do ‘dark movies and not the good ones’ as several people have ganged him against him, without realising that they are ‘harming’ his career prospects.
Just as AR Rahman pointed at how he is being targeted by a powerful lobby in the Bollywood, a 16-year-old incident involving him, where he was harassed and bullied by Muslim clerics has once become a talking point.
In 2004, the Islamists and Muslim clerics of the All India Ulema Council had ganged up against fellow Muslims – the controversial painter MF Husain and music director AR Rahman after a controversy had erupted over a qawwali song in the film. A song composed by AR Rahman for Husain’s movie ‘Meenaxi’ had received severe backlash from the Muslim society accusing them of insulting their religion.
The song ‘Noor-un-Ala-Noor’ composed by AR Rahman was called ‘blasphemous’ by Islamic clerics, who had claimed that the song featuring the film’s main protagonist, Tabu, contained words directly lifted from the Quran.
The council’s statement was supported by Muslim organisations like the Milli Council, All-India Muslim Council, Raza Academy, Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Hind and Jamat-e-Islami.
“For us, the term Noor-un-Ala-Noor is very sacred. It shouldn’t be used to describe the physical beauty of a heroine,” Maulana Abdul Quddus Kashmiri, general secretary of the All-India Ulema Council said in his statement.
A complaint was also registered against the moviemakers in Mumbai and the clerics had also demanded them to change the words of the song.
The constant hounding of AR Rahman and MF Husain by the Islamic clerics had resulted in Husain pulling out his movie ‘Meenaxi — A Tale of Three Cities’ out of movie theatres.