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The most scathing IR criticism ever, probably!

The most scathing IR criticism ever, probably!

Topic started by cyk (@ on Sun Sep 3 23:55:27 EDT 2000.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

I found this in the official message board of arrmp3 ( run by Karthik, by someone called Pennathur. The write-up is probably the most scathing criticism I've ever come across of IR!!


Sites like aaraamthinai and indiainfo seem to be publishing motivated stuff about rahman.

let's face it folks there are still some people who can't accept the fact that Ilayaraja is no longer the Raja he was. It is not just that he has retired from the scene or something Rahman has ushered in a new order of things and has come out on top in a more comptetitve market. These controversies also have regional element to them. And please believe me I am not being parochial. Rahman's music is urban and specifically rooted in his favourite city (mine too) MAdras. Ilayaraja is a reluctant resident of Madras and for the talent that comes out of Cumbum, Madurai, Thenee he is the supremo. The composers and musicians in his - Raja's - camp (all incredibly talented) who work on TV serials and small clips for the movies will never accept that Ilayaraja's time is up. And they have been naysayers for a long time. For some time Ilayaraja tried propping up his sons Kartik and Yuvan Shankar, who unfortunately aren't even a glimmer in comparison to their illustrious father. And Kartik the upstart and braggart needlessly muddied himself badmouthing Rahman. Today neither of the boys are anywhere on the scene.

The comparisons that some people wouldn't like to make are as follows:

Ilayaraja was a swollen headed man - how many of you know that the title Isaignani was self-anointed?
While Rahman continues to remain a humble person and makes no great claims for himself except that he slogs his whatever off for each and every song

Ilayaraja was virtually hostile towards the press and never deigned to grant interviews or enven show himself in public. Rahman is approachable and fields soem fairly sensitive questions

Ilayaraja is but one in a long line of film composers in the many languages of India. But have you ever heard him acknowledging his own guru - GK Venkatesh - or MSV or anyone else? Rahman n the other hand is profuse in his praise for other composers and even acknowledges the genius of Ilayaraja

Rahman was the guy who taught Ilayaraja to use multi-track recording and remastering with Punnagai Mannan - and it is an open secret in Kodambakkam that at least two songs in the movie were composed by Rahman - and that's how KB caught hold of Rahman for Roja (remember KB produced the film) Raja has never acknolwedged tha man by now

Rahman continues to be a gracious man and participates in free events every now and then. While he may not be like the great MSV (who took care of SM Subbiah Naidu till his last days, performed free with his harmonium for some plantation workmen in Sri Lanka, who can even today be seen taking a walk down Santhome High Road in the evenings chatting up with the local potti kadai guys, or having a stroll by the beach) he is approachable. We do know that Raja came from very humble origins but how much does he mix around or remain rooted with people in everyday life?

In an interview on TV some years back someone asked MSV has Ilayaraja set you aside and has Rahman set aside Raja. To which the inimitable MSV replied, "No one sets aside anyone else. One: the listeners decide these matters as we just exist to satisfy their musical needs and two: only God can set people aside" Isn't it interesting that most Rahman fans are fans of MSV too? It is indeed a coup that Rahman got MSV to sing on "Sangamam"? With Rahman we are seeing the return of those balladish robust strains we would hear in every MSV solo.

And one more thing Rahman steers clear of something that Raja loved to do - interfere with the movie script and its direction etc. And that's what led to his downfall and parting of ways with his close friend Bharatiraja. The slide for Raja began with "Captain Magal" when Bharatiraja threw Raja off the sets for monkeying around. After which BR erased all the background score and the two songs already composed and called Hamsalekha to score the movie.

Fame is a very fickle thing. You don't know when it will part from you. MSV never let fame go to his head and has retired gracefully. While Ilayaraja just cannot, having lorded over the scene like a banyan tree (nothing grows underneath a banyan)

The story of Ilayaraja is a lesson to all of us.


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