An evening which was supposed to be spent listening to the melodies by the musical genius AR Rahman turned sour when it suddenly became a battle between Hindi and Tamil speakers. The concert that took place at Wembley Stadium, London, saw the audience divided between Tamil speakers and non-Tamil speakers.
A concert titled ‘Netru, Indru, Naalai’ (Tamil for Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow) saw a mass walk out of non-Tamil speakers who couldn’t keep up with a number of Tamil songs sang during the concert. The disappointed audience took to Twitter to complain about the 16 Hindi songs played as compared to 12 Tamil ones which was apparently an unfair deal.
I’m pleased to announce “Netru Indru Nalai” on the 8th of July at the SSE Arena, Wembley.
Thank you for your… https://t.co/FINBvhJcFB
— A.R.Rahman (@arrahman) March 16, 2017
AR Rahman, known as the ‘Mozart of Madras’, started his career with the Tamil music industry, which happens to be his mother tongue as well. Some of the critically acclaimed and popular works come from the South Indian music industry. However, with significant hits in Bollywood, he is beloved by both industries.
The fans of Rahman polarized into the groups of Hindi and non-Hindi speakers to criticize and defend the concert respectively. The dialogues against and in favor of whether the number of Tamil songs sung by the maestro was fair are rampant on Twitter.
#ARRahman very disapointed with the concert tonight in Wembley. Waited for a very long time to be disappointed. Not expected from a legend
— Archana Sawant (@archana_ssawant) July 8, 2017
— nazia chishty (@Nazoo_Chishty) July 8, 2017
Was total disaster,for someone who made his name in Bollywood(at least on sheer numbers) it was disrespectful from him,even speaking Tamil
— Apoorva Dixit (@apoorva_dixit) July 9, 2017
People have gone as far as calling out the organizers for false advertising and demanding a refund.
— Omer Chowdhury (@OmChow) July 8, 2017
— Gautam Vaidya (@gautamvaidya) July 8, 2017
The Tamil-speaking users are giving arguments which echo the sentiments of South Indians struggling with Hindi being imposed on their culture.
Heared NEWS about the A.R.Rahman concert in US
Dear hindi folks,
1) Title is “Mozart of Madras”.
2) “Music” has no language.
— Ram Virat (@Ram_ABD) July 13, 2017
#ARRahman SINGS a lot of Tamil songs and suddenly all HINDI folks erupt, lol guys that’s the same feel when u want ur HINDI all over south.
— VID (@ItsmeVID) July 11, 2017
People are upset because A R Rahman sang Tamil songs at his concert! Well, bigotedness can’t guarantee a refund!
— Riyya Hari Iyer (@Riyya_HI) July 14, 2017
Hindis want concert ticket refund coz #ARRahman sang Tamil songs. NonHindi states be refunded for taxes that subsidize Hindi states frm 1947
— Garga Chatterjee (@GargaC) July 13, 2017
The evening was dedicated to admire music and the artist irrespective of the language. However, the culturally tense social scenario has turned it into a Hindi vs Tamil battle, whereas, there could be people belonging to other nationalities who might know AR Rahman due to his popular Bollywood or Hollywood songs.