The 4.15 minute long song ‘I’m sorry Ayyappa, naan ulla vanthal yenappa‘ (what’s wrong if I come in) by The Casteless Collective, a Tamil music band is making waves on Internet.
Pa. Ranjith, a Tamil director’s organisation, Neelam Cultural Centre, collaborated with the label Madras Records, to form a 19-piece band called The Casteless Collective that includes four rappers, seven instrumentalists and eight gaana musicians, a popular folk music style in Tamil Nadu. The name of the band was inspired from a phrase – ‘jaathi ilaathu Tamilargal’ – used by Tamil anti-caste activist and writer C Iyothee Thass, said Ranjith.
Though the audio and video is of poor quality, the song is a must-watch for the cause it supports women empowerment. The 4.15-minute long song, which was performed live at a gathering of Ranjith’s Neelam Cultural Centre, was published on YouTube on the New Year’s day in support of Sabarimala women entry.
“I am sorry Ayyappa…” with its snarky lyrics satirizes the way society shelters women. The song develops like a women making conversation with Lord Ayyappa and then moves on to voice about women empowerment and their rights. The band kicks off the song with a women devotee asking a question to the celibate god what is the problem if she enters his hill shrine. In the next verse is a warning to fanatics – she tells them that they won’t be able to restrain women any more by terrorising. The sole female singer in TCC, Isaivani, leads the number and she has put her entire energy into it.
Coincidently, a day after the song hit internet, below 50, entered Sabarimala and had darshan of lord Ayyappa.
Earlier, launching the band director Pa. Ranjith had said their aim was to provide a platform for independent musicians. “This is a collective that is without caste, that aims to eliminate caste and religious discrimination through music,” he said.