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India: SAHMAT Statement supporting A.R.Rahman (17 Sept 2015)

17 September 2015

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SafdarHashmi Memorial Trust
29, Feroze Shah Road,New Delhi-110001
Telephone- 23381276/ 23070787
e-mail-sahmat8 at

Date 17.9.2015

Statement supporting A.R.Rahman

We welcome and whole-heartedly support the statement of musician AR Rahman where he speaks about his decision to compose music for the Iranian film ‘Muhammad: Messenger of God”’. He has thoughtfully struck the right note as he has answered questions raised (completely out of line) by the Raza Academy, about why he chose to compose songs for the film.

We strongly disapprove of the diktat or ‘fatwa’ issued by the Raza Academy, to curb AR Rahman’s creative pursuit. Rahman, is one of India and the world’s finest composers, whose repertoire has spanned a whole range and one who is proud to call himself a Muslim. When organisations like Raza Academy, try to curb an artiste’s freedom and conscious choice for creative expression, using religion as an excuse, it has serious and damaging implications for India.

Rahman has underlined that we are “indeed fortunate and blessed to live in a country like India where religious freedom is practiced and where the aim of all communities is to live in peace and harmony sans confusion and violence.”

We stand by AR Rahman as he restates the basic principles of our Constitution and join him in the hope that India will continue to stand by the essence of our Constitutional freedoms, "sans confusion and violence" in these difficult times. We hope that no fatwas, diktats or even bullets, will be allowed to be directed against those who dare to speak the truth, paint a picture or compose a tune.

Aijaz Ahmad
Amarjit Chandan
Amitesh Kumar
Amol Saghar
Ananya Vajpeyi
Anees Azmi
Anil Bhatti
Antara Dev Sen
Archana Prasad
Arif Clinton
Arjun Dev
Arvind Kalia
Badri Raina
Bal Anand
Balram Agarwal
Bernita Bagchi
Chanchal Chauhan
Dinesh Mohan
Fr Cedric Prakash sj
Geeta Kapur
Geeti Sen
Girish Mishra
Gulammohammed Sheikh
Indira Chandrasekhar
Irfan Habib
Jayati Ghosh
Madangopal Singh
Mihir Bhattacharya
Najaf Haider
Nandini Sundar
Nilima Sheikh
Nirmalangshu Mukherji
Parthiv Shah Prabhat Patnaik
Puroshottam Agrawal
Ram Rahman
Ritu K Singh
Robin Dcruz
Romila Thapar
Sashi Kumar
Shabnam Hashmi
Shantha Sinha
Sharmila Tagore
Shikha Sen
Siddharth Varadarajan
Sohail Hashmi
Surajit Sarkar
Utsa Patnaik
Vandana Rag
Venkatesh Athreya
Vidya Shah
Vivan Sundaram