Carnatic keys

Three times songs from Tamil cinema united and galvanised Tamilians

Among the catalysts of the jallikattu movement was a music director.

This is a watershed moment in Tamil politics, one unlike any we have experienced before. Tamilians worldwide are roaring about Tamil pride, an issue brought centre stage by the protests over jallikattu.

Aadhi, better known as Hip Hop Tamizha, was a major catalyst during the jallikattu movement. He is an established music director and performer in Tamil cinema who commands a massive following.

Among the more well-informed and rational proponents of jallikattu, he used art – with intellect and emotion – in a charged situation to ignite public consciousness. And when time came for the demonstration to be disbanded, his videos proved extremely valuable.

He spoke about the eternal use of music and art in uniting and unifying a people. Listen to his song Takkaru Takkaru:

Play

In this context, I thought it useful to look at songs and anthems from Tamil cinema that have served to unite and galvanise its populations.

Senthamizh Naadu Endrum Podhinile

Play

Senthamizh Naadu Endrum Podhinile was written in the early part of the 20th century by the nationalist poet Subramania Bharathi. Its lyrics highlight the essence of Tamil character, which it underscores with a call to valour and courage. Here is a rough translation of the main verse:

“When you say Tamil Nadu
It is like honey to the ears
To call it the land of my forebears
Fills me with a new force.”

Acchamillai Acchamillai (There is No Fear)

Play

Again written by Subramania Bharathi, this oft-recited poem has become the unofficial anthem of all Tamils fighting for justice, regardless of cause.

“There is no fear, There is no fear
Even when every human on this planet stands against me
Even when the sky tumbles and falls on my head
Even when I am left with no food and forced to beg
There is no fear, There is no fear.“

Tamizha Tamizha (Roja, 1992)

Play

The context and the script of this path-breaking film by Mani Ratnam need no explanations. This song continues to be an ARR classic.

“Tamizha, Tamizha
Tomorrow is Ours
This land is ours
My motherland is Tamil Nadu, say it with pride.“

Anil Srinivasan is a pianist and music educator in Chennai. His music education outreach now touches the lives of nearly 100,000 children in Tamil Nadu.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Virat Kohli and Ola come together to improve Delhi's air quality

The onus of curbing air-pollution is on citizens as well

A recent study by The Lancet Journal revealed that outdoor pollution was responsible for 6% of the total disease burden in India in 2016. As a thick smog hangs low over Delhi, leaving its residents gasping for air, the pressure is on the government to implement SOS measures to curb the issue as well as introduce long-term measures to improve the air quality of the state. Other major cities like Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata should also acknowledge the gravitas of the situation.

The urgency of the air-pollution crisis in the country’s capital is being reflected on social media as well. A recent tweet by Virat Kohli, Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, urged his fans to do their bit in helping the city fight pollution. Along with the tweet, Kohli shared a video in which he emphasized that curbing pollution is everyone’s responsibility. Apart from advocating collective effort, Virat Kohli’s tweet also urged people to use buses, metros and Ola share to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

In the spirit of sharing the responsibility, ride sharing app Ola responded with the following tweet.

To demonstrate its commitment to fight the problem of vehicular pollution and congestion, Ola is launching #ShareWednesdays : For every ​new user who switches to #OlaShare in Delhi, their ride will be free. The offer by Ola that encourages people to share resources serves as an example of mobility solutions that can reduce the damage done by vehicular pollution. This is the fourth leg of Ola’s year-long campaign, #FarakPadtaHai, to raise awareness for congestion and pollution issues and encourage the uptake of shared mobility.

In 2016, WHO disclosed 10 Indian cities that made it on the list of worlds’ most polluted. The situation necessitates us to draw from experiences and best practices around the world to keep a check on air-pollution. For instance, a system of congestion fees which drivers have to pay when entering central urban areas was introduced in Singapore, Oslo and London and has been effective in reducing vehicular-pollution. The concept of “high occupancy vehicle” or car-pool lane, implemented extensively across the US, functions on the principle of moving more people in fewer cars, thereby reducing congestion. The use of public transport to reduce air-pollution is another widely accepted solution resulting in fewer vehicles on the road. Many communities across the world are embracing a culture of sustainable transportation by investing in bike lanes and maintenance of public transport. Even large corporations are doing their bit to reduce vehicular pollution. For instance, as a participant of the Voluntary Traffic Demand Management project in Beijing, Lenovo encourages its employees to adopt green commuting like biking, carpooling or even working from home. 18 companies in Sao Paulo executed a pilot program aimed at reducing congestion by helping people explore options such as staggering their hours, telecommuting or carpooling. After the pilot, drive-alone rates dropped from 45-51% to 27-35%.

It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that the growth of a country doesn’t compromise the natural environment that sustains it, however, a substantial amount of responsibility also lies on each citizen to lead an environment-friendly lifestyle. Simple lifestyle changes such as being cautious about usage of electricity, using public transport, or choosing locally sourced food can help reduce your carbon footprint, the collective impact of which is great for the environment.

Ola is committed to reducing the impact of vehicular pollution on the environment by enabling and encouraging shared rides and greener mobility. They have also created flat fare zones across Delhi-NCR on Ola Share to make more environment friendly shared rides also more pocket-friendly. To ensure a larger impact, the company also took up initiatives with City Traffic Police departments, colleges, corporate parks and metro rail stations.

Join the fight against air-pollution by using the hashtag #FarakPadtaHai and download Ola to share your next ride.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Ola and not by the Scroll editorial team.