Has her own personality, single-handedly fought all 'wars': AR Rahman on daughter being trolled for wearing hijab

09:29 AM Mar 12, 2023 | PTI |

Top music director A R Rahman is proud of his daughter Khatija, who had to face online trolling for wearing burqa and says she has her own personality and has fought “all wars” by herself.


The Oscar-winning Rahman feels India will rise up in art and culture if ‘Naatu Naatu’, the hit number from S S Rajamouli-directed ‘RRR’ bags the coveted Oscar award. It has been shortlisted for Original Song in the 95th Academy Awards.

In an interview to PTI, Rahman talked about the need for ensuring safety and security of every unit in the cinema industry that makes a movie possible. He also shared his personal story as to why he has taken up this initiative to support the light man in Tamil cinema industry.

Excerpts from the interview

Q; What kind of songs you are listening to recently?


A: I am listening to ‘naga naga’ song from my own composition from the movie Ponniyan Selvan and also songs composed by son Ameen.

Q: When there are lot of production units in the cinema industry why is your concern particularly for the light man unit to raise funds for them?

A: Recently one of the light men died. Deep down I was shocked and I couldn’t sleep for days when I was in London….I was devastated by it and I felt I had lost my brother. When I enquired about the Union and what they are going to help the deceased family–even my father died when I was young–then we discovered they don’t have any insurance, website, safety equipment and they don’t have anything. Everybody thinks someone is going to do it and as an industry we have grown from a Rs 20 crore industry to Rs 1000 crore now.

We have taken our people and it’s important (to note) that they don’t have a voice. We need to give a voice to them, treat them like human beings. Every month two or three people die and they get unnoticed. They get crushed in the vehicle where they load and lights fall on them, some people lose their hands. So it’s pretty inhumane. It’s not intentional but it’s time that we notice all the stuff. Also, recently my son met with an accident, and had a narrow escape. Its time to address safety of the lives of people who are making us look good.

Q: Why is there a deviation from pop music concerts to concerts which are exclusively for Sufi music?

A: People are wanting to hear these kind of Sufi concerts in Chennai, they have been asking me for years, here is the opportunity to have fun and to raise awareness for people who need a lot of love.

Q: What are your expectations from Naatu Naatu song which has been nominated for an Oscar?

A:….it is going to make the profile of India and raise the profile of India. It will be an ambassador. After Jai Ho (from Slumdog millionaire) won Oscars people started to listen to my other sound tracks and they listened to other Indian composers. The whole profile of India will rise up, art and cultural wise.

Q: Musician Khatija Rahman’s song “Sagavasi” has got millions of views on YouTube and how to do you see it?

A: As a father I am always proud of her, she is a unique daughter, she has her own personality….lot of tough things on social media, she has single-handedly fought all those wars and yet she is kind. She is an amazing human being and god bless her.


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