The producers wanted some controversy around the Jana-Gana-Rann title song for Ram Gopal Varma's upcoming film Rann [Official website], and they've got it. Though some newspapers (surprisingly) treated it differently.
Update: The Central Board of Film Certification (Censor Board) has refused permission for / banned the airing of the controversial Jana-Gana-Rann song. This also means that the promo cannot be screened at theatres.
The two trailers/promos for Rann are essentially the same only the text in the beginning and the end are a little different.
NDTV Movies is running a debate around the song. A comment from Subhash Nagre (Hey! Wasn't that Amitabh's character in Sarkar?) in the discussion puts it in the right perspective:
The purpose of the National Anthem is to incite patriotism amongst the citizens, and in these troubled times the Jana-Gana-Rann rendition is appropriate. There is no point praising the motherland where most things are not right, rather the feeling needs to be awakened that there is a lot wrong and it will get worse if we do not make amends. This song does precisely that. And we should brush the controversies aside and listen to this heart-stirring number.
All said and done, Jana-Gana-Rann is an amazing piece. The kind that makes your hair stand on its end.
The last RGV movie I liked was Sarkar and am looking forward to Rann. Hope he betters Sarkar this time (the sequel Sarkar Raj was pale in comparison).
In his director's note RGV says:
Rann means battle. And battle is a fight between large organised forces. In the context of a civil society and its deep complexities, large organised forces (read news channels, political parties and industrial czars) are not just involved in a fight with each other, but more importantly and frighteningly, they are battling a war within themselves and this is especially true of news channels.
Making news is not the easiest thing in the world. So the next best thing obviously would be to make anything and everything appear to be news.
The way the news are presented today are much more entertaining than family soaps and thril-ers. What's worse is that we enjoy this kind presentation so much that we have got addicted to them.
There is the government - a system which runs the country, then there are wealth creators like industrialists etc and then there are politicians in the ruling party and the opposition.
All the above in a democratic society are supposed to be working for the common people and the one and only means of the common people having any idea as to what those are up to is through the media. Hence the media has been invented as a truth telling machinery serving the purpose of the common people so that they know they are in good hands or in case they are told that are not, they can hope to exercise the power of their vote to bring about a change.
But in free economy system where there is so much competition the media by default is lost in its purpose.
The media is a reporting agency. It reports news. News is what is new. New is what you hear for the first time. So to be able to be the first to tell you the various newspapers and channels have an intense competition among themselves and this they do on a need to survive, on an ego to be on the top and on a greed to get rich.
To be ahead of competition means more circulation and higher TRPs which in turn generate more and more ad revenue which will translate into making more and more and more money.
Also the fact that in the process the people who run the media realise their power of influencing the common people inevitably makes them power hungry.
To sum up, Rann would expose the behind-the-scenes truth of how a truth telling machinery by the very virtue of its positioning has no choice but to corrupt itself to become a money-making and power-brokering enterprise.
He has a point. Doesn't he?
Here's the lyrics for the song (English translation included):
Jana Gana Mana Rann Hai
Is Rann MeinZakhmi Hua Hai
Bharat Ka Bhaagya Vidhaata
Punjab Sindh Gujarat Maratha
Ek Doosre Se Ladd Ke Mar Rehein Hain
Is Desh Ne Humjko Ek Kiya
Hum Desh Ke Tukdey Kar Rahein Hain
Khoon Bahaa Ker
Ek Rang Kar Diya Humne Tiranga
Sarhadon Pe Jung Aur
Galiyon Mein Fasaad Danga
Vindh Himachal Yamuna Ganga
Men Tezaab Ubal Raha Hain
Mar Gaya Sab Ka Zameer
Jan Kab Zinda Ho Aagey
Phot Bhi Tava Shubha Name Jaage
Tav Shubh Aashish Maange
Aag Mein Jal Kar Cheekh Raha Hai
Phir Bhi Koi Sach Ko Nahi Bachaata
Gahe Tava Jaya Gaatha
Desh Ka Aisa Haal Hain Lekin
Aapas Mein Ladd Rahein Neta
Jana Gana Mangal Daayak Jaya Hai
Bharat Ko Bachale Vidhaata
Jay Hai Yeh Marann Hai
Jana Gana Mana Rann Hai
There is battle in every mind
And in this battle the future
Of India is wounded
Punjab Sindh Gujarat Maratha
Are fighting amongst and killing each other
This country made us one
And in return we are breaking it into pieces
The Dravidians, the Orissa, the Bengal
By shedding blood, we have turned the
Tricolour into one just bloody colour
Battles ablaze on the borders
While riots burn down our lanes
Acid is boiling in Himachal
Dead is our conscience
Who knows when it will come back to life
Yet we chant god's name praying
For his blessings
The truth screams as it burns in fire
Without a saviour for it
Yet we sing the victory song
This is the state our country is in
And the leaders fight within
The salvation of all the people waits in your hand
Oh God! Please save India
Is this victory or is this death?
There is a battle in every mind