Subramania Bharathi’s patriotic song set to resonate in Arabic soon

University of Madras’s Department of Arabic, Urdu and Persian launches Arabic music video teaser of ‘Paarukulle Nalla Naadu’ on Independence Day

August 16, 2023 08:10 am | Updated 08:11 am IST - CHENNAI

(From left) Madras University Vice-Chancellor S. Gowri and Minister for Minorities Welfare and Non-Resident Tamils Welfare Gingee K.S. Masthan releasing the teaser of the Arabic music video of Subramania Bharathi’s Paarukulle Nalla Naadu in Chennai on Tuesday.

(From left) Madras University Vice-Chancellor S. Gowri and Minister for Minorities Welfare and Non-Resident Tamils Welfare Gingee K.S. Masthan releasing the teaser of the Arabic music video of Subramania Bharathi’s Paarukulle Nalla Naadu in Chennai on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The Department of Arabic, Urdu and Persian, University of Madras, added an unusual touch to the 77th Independence Day celebrations on Tuesday by releasing the teaser of a music video based on an Arabic translation of Tamil poet Subramania Bharathi’s patriotic Tamil song Paarukulle Nalla Naadu (India is one of the best nations in the world).

The teaser was released by Vice-Chancellor S. Gowri as part of the department’s Independence Day celebrations held in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu State Urdu Academy and received by Gingee K.S. Masthan, Minister for Minorities Welfare and Non-Resident Tamils Welfare, in the presence of G.M. Akbar Ali, former judge of Madras High Court, and senior government officials.

The 5.30-minute video, titled Afdhalu Dawla Ardhuna Alhind, has been directed and translated by A. Jahir Hussain, head of department, with the music composed by Ubaid Kunnakkavu. Palestinian singer Yousef Awadallah is the lead vocalist, accompanied by Wesam Al Ejaz and Alaa Akhras.

“Arabs and the Tamil people share a unique linguistic bond that dates back to over 2,000 years. Our language has a significant number of loan words from Arabic that are still in use today. Translating Bharathi’s song into Arabic was a just another way to show the assimilative capacity of these communities,” Mr. Hussain told The Hindu.

A preview clip, shared with The Hindu, features a tasteful montage of images from across India, from farmers, national symbols and the armed forces, to monuments and performing arts. Singer Awadallah’s soulful rendition set to a West Asian and Indian fusion score, makes Bharati’s lyrics stand out, even in translation.

“We hope this video will exemplify how India has been a cradle of multiculturalism for centuries. Our country’s pluralism and religious harmony is beautifully brought out by Bharathi’s song, which we want to convey to the world at large,” said Mr. Hussain, who has translated and directed a music video on Avvaiyar’s Aathichoodi in Arabic.

Afdhalu Dawla Ardhuna Alhind will be formally launched soon. The recording was done at Traneem Studio for Artistic Production, Palestine.

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