Wednesday, August 15, 2007

National Anthem - Commercially packaged!

That's the mantra in everyone's lips today. India turns 60 . And am sure throusands of words have been written, thousands of keys clicked today in praise and in planning for a better land, country, India. Am sure criticisms, suggestions, disappointments, optimism, everything would be spread way across the country's cyberspace today. I, am not going to add to that.

But i really did want to do mouthspeak about one thing that i noticed today across so many TV channels ( After all, isnt it our national pastime to watch reruns of movies in TV on any national holiday ? :) ) Anyways, where was I.. ahh yes i was watching TV and almost every punctuating commercial break had ran ad of a Indian cellular giant. And the ad had various eminent vocalists rendering a very famous composition melodied by a famous composer. The composition - Our Own National Anthem !

I was taught to give respect to my National Anthem. And the first time, it rang through the tv speakers, i was proud that the channels remembered our nation on this day and i stood, in respect, of my country. Fifteen minues later - the same ad again. fifteen min later - again - and again and again and again.

Has our National Anthem become nothing more than a commercial jingle ? Are we respecting it or demeaning it ? Why would i want to listen to my National Anthem as a forerunner to watching a acompany name ? How could the company do it ? How could so many Indian National stand in mute silence when this was approved. It hurts me, and it frustrates me that i cant do anything about it.

Think about it, what further disrespect could you show to your National Anthem - Has it been leased to a company ? Isnt it above all things commercial? HOW COULD YOU???? THis is what kept on rining in my ears. A billion people - eating, sleeping, half sleeping, feet over each other, pointing at the TV, half reading magazines - in all tasks possible, in all positions imaginable would have heard the national anthem promoting a company. Hwo could a national anthem be commericalized?

I dont demand apologies. I do not want uprising of people against this. I only want all of us to understand that is more than just a fad to be patriotic, to have respect and to love your country. It is more than pinning little paper flags on our shirts. After all, there are amongst us, some who would want to get the paper flag without the bill, to save tax.

I stand here, in staunch unacceptance of the advertisement and the company that it promoted. I stand here, head held high, eyes down in respect, on the side of my country.

My Country. I Care.


  1. Sir, I am very delighted to read your blog. I too did watch that video on TV but I should mention I watched first it in a movie theatre (really shocked!!!).
    I think I am contradicting your point of view when you mention it as a commercialising. This is not just National Anthem, its a new composition by A R Rahman and the videos are done by Bala/Kanika, (hope you can remember these names, they shot similar videos sometime back). So this is the music composed by one musical legend ; video shot by a private agent which is brought into Media by the cellular company.
    I dont see any commercialisation here.

  2. Krishna,

    Thanks for the comments and i appreciate your view.

    I too watched the first this "ad" if i may use the term, in a theatre. The ad started with this message - Please stand up for the National Anthem. I stood up, and i sang along with the wonderful new melodious composition. It was pleasing to see some of the best vocalists making their contribution to making the beautiful, more so.

    The Anthem concluded with the message relating to unity in diversity and flashed the company name along with it. I am perfectly fine with it. For the money and effort spent by the company - they do have the right to associate themselves with the composition.

    But then, that was a rendering with proper respect. It acknowledged that it is the National Anthem, requsted people to respect it and it sung the whole song.

    You can't break that up and sing parts of that in TV every fifteen min or so and associate the company with it. Few things have their respect and we should give it. Do you think anyone would have given respect to the Anthem by the end of the day ?And what is the effect now, we have Company's name linked in our memories with Jana Gana Mana. - Was that not commercialization ? If they had even mentioned at the end of the song, that this is an ode to 60 years young India, and then put Airtel, i would have been happy. What grewat thing have you do ne to the country, to precede National Anthem n number of times before showing your company name ?

    What difference do you see between our Anthem and any other jingle ( for e.g. G for H Gold Winner or some somethingl ike that ) Hasn't the company used the National Anthem song bits with the same intention?

    Thin about it.

  3. Hi,

    I too felt same like you ..when I saw that on TV..

    I remember once upon a time they used to play National Anthem on DD which clearly conveyed the message that its our duty to respect National Anthem.

    But now i am afraid what will happen in future , how the next generation is going to react to this kind of ads..

    I feel happy to see that someone has voiced out for this.

  4. As a citizen, am very disappointed of this. On Thursday and Friday they were just telecasting the making of the album. That was accepted but this is highly regrettable.

    As a media, they have high responsibility and I wonder how not even a single person had thought about this.

    This is not like other issues which we just worry about this and let go. This has to be put forth to the respective people in addition to all the respective authorities in order to avoid the same in future.

    @krishna -- I accept ur view. But if it is onetime, you can accept the fact. But did u felt about the feeling of national anthem telecasted on that day, rather than you itself mentioned that as its an Airtel AD.

    @jay -- I go with you. This has to be addressed to the respective authorities. And am wonder we still have many youths who doesn't know the real meaning of patriotic feeling and common musical hits.

  5. Thanks for the comments Gayathri / Aryan.

    All we need a some more ppl who think like this and take up responsibility. :)

    Gayathri - Couldnt get through to your blog...

    Aryan - welcome back - after that break that i took - am gonna start blogging again - passionately :)

  6. lets make it happen ...
    everything starts from a spark...