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Gulzar credits AR Rahman for ‘Jai Ho’ Oscar win

The popular “Jai Ho” song would not have won the prestigious Oscar without the contribution of music maestro A R Rahman who changed the face and form of Indian film songs, veteran poet-lyricist Gulzar said.

Composed by Rahman for the 2009 film Slumdog Millionaire, “Jai Ho” is the first Hindi song to win an Academy Award in the Best Original Score and Best Original Song categories.


Gulzar penned the lyrics and singer Sukhwinder Singh lent his voice to the track.

“It was because of A R Rahman the song won the award. Although Sukhwinder Singh also contributed to making the song a hit by putting a lot of energy into it.

“Overall, I would say we all agree that it was because of the music maestro A R Rahman that the song won the coveted prize,” Gulzar said at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival.

He said Rahman’s “great contribution” changed the longstanding form of the film songs which are always written to the already compiled tunes.

Gulzar also said writing a song was a “much tedious” process than writing a poem.

“A poem is a free flow of expressions. In the song it is not your statement. It is the statement of a story which has a character and a language and a tune which has already been compiled,” he said, adding that it makes him “sad and not angry” when he sees the translation of some of his songs on YouTube.

Gulzar said cinema had its own identity and a book cannot entertain people the way films do.

“Books may last longer than cinema, but with a book you cannot dance away. The cinema has its own identity. It is a totally different medium. A book cannot be shared with the masses like a song,” he said.