India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Jana Gana Mana ‘Rann’: new-age anthem?


Nearly 60 years after Rabindranath Tagore’s composition was adopted as India’s national anthem, filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma’s interpretation of it is raising conservative eyebrows.

Varma uses the tune of ‘Jana Gana Mana’ and adds to the lyrics, making it a full-fledged song for his film about India’s media industry — “Rann”.

The 47-year-old filmmaker has maintained he meant no disrespect but only wanted to use the anthem as a vehicle to “draw attention” to the country’s problems.

“For any right-thinking person, I do not believe that he can take offence to the way it’s been done and in what context it’s been shown,” Varma said at a news conference during the unveiling of “Rann” in New Delhi.