Imagine a regime where the rulers/dictators control everything you do. They decide what is good, what is bad based on what they like and what they don’t, and force it down people’s throats. Your preferences don’t matter. People are irritated by them. If anyone points out flaws, they’re attacked. If this reminds you of Taliban, think again. What if I tell you such a group exists right here, in Tamilnadu? Everything I’ve said above holds good for this group, except that they don’t have the power and control. Thankfully, most of their activities are restricted to the social media.

This is the group who call themselves “Music Mafia”. They are supposed to be hard core fans of Illayaraja. That’s how they would like to be identified. You’d expect them to spread the joy of their idol’s music. But, that’s usually not what they do. Their prime focus is on talking ill about other composers’ works. Music is supposed to be a positive aspect – it has to ring in positive thoughts. However, this mafia hardly does anything other than spreading negativity. For this reason, I don’t think it’s right to call them a “music” group. They’re nothing but a group of social media extremists. What a befitting name they've chosen for themselves.

Before we go further, let me clarify one thing – I am a big fan of AR Rahman. You may wonder of any bias – but as you read through, you’ll realise that I’m stating  just plain facts and not my opinions (which may be biased)! The recent sentiment from people (on twitter) who are not fans of any particular composer, reflects this group’s atrocity, which is increasing each day.

The “mafia” discredits any music other than Illayaraja’s. While their anger was usually restricted to AR Rahman, the “mafia” has now started writing off any other composer with even a little hint of success.

The person who they focus most of their energy on, is AR Rahman – sometimes I even wonder if they think about AR Rahman even more than hardcore Rahman fans. The “mafia” just can’t talk about IR’s greatness without belittling AR Rahman. No surprises here, as Raja himself is so bitter when it comes to AR Rahman – being his ardent “devotees”, the mafia would obviously toe his line on this. But, while Raja grabs any opportunity to take digs at AR Rahman, this group keeps creating opportunities to talk ill of ARR – as I said earlier, spreading negativity is their forte!

They meet to celebrate Raja’s music, and they end up dissing ARR. They write blog posts about that big meet up, they end up insulting ARR in that too! They write reviews of Raja’s background score, but they take a dig at ARR. There was a Raja concert recently in London where the music of Raja’s Megha was released. One would expect them to rave about the album and the concert. But, what do these people do? They find old interviews of AR Rahman and tweet silly comments about it. Shows their priority, right? I mean, when they have a new album and a concert to tweet about, why else would they ignore all that and read old interviews of a person who they hate?

They question the “lack of nativity” in Kadal’s music, but when someone talks about the wah-wah pedals and electric guitars in Karagaatakkaran songs/BGMs or the chorus singing “baby baby” with techno beats, electronic pads and synth arpeggios in the period film, Ponnar Shankar (I’m not making this up, there really is a “baby baby” chorus in Ponnar Shankar!), they either change the topic or they hurl abuses. Why would they care about decency, when they stoop this low anyway?

They have been doing this for over 20 years now – but, this seems to have worsened in recent times. I wonder how other composers like Deva and Vidyasagar weren’t targeted. Deva was most prolific in the 90s, wasn’t he? And, Vidyasagar had a good run in late 90s-early 2000s. Probably because Raja had decent successes during that period? Towards the end of 90s, though, their insecurity increased. And now, their insecurity seems to be at a peak. Their “arch-rival” AR scaling new heights, young new composers doing really well, coupled with Raja’s failures seems to get on their nerves! They even target 3-film old Anirudh these days. On twitter, there were so many jibes at Anirudh after the recent news about him recording with the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra!

I do not follow any of these mafia people, as my timeline would be filled with nothing but negative tweets and hate speech. I end up seeing some of these tweets once in a while, when retweeted. Sometimes, I honestly feel sorry for the state they are in. But, this is not going to stop – On Monday (7th Oct), a single from Kochadaiyaan is going to release. Be prepared for a slew of hate tweets from the mafia, while I will happily enjoy the new song, having muted the hate tweets!

For now, I leave you with this - Let real peace spread throughout the world. Let’s throw the negativity out!

By Aravind on Saturday, October 05, 2013 at 7:08 PM
  1. Anonymous

    Fanaticism isn't restricted to IR alone. Even Rahmaniacs are all over the place. Please visit youtube videos of IR classics and you would find abusive comments by Rahman fans. The problem isn't being a fan of IR or Rahman, it is being a fanatic. You make it seem as if fanaticism is an IR fan exclusive. Not at all. And IR has never ever made a negative remark particularly aimed at AR Rahman. In my eyes, you're as fanatic as the people you have referred to in your blog because you see seem to notice fanaticism only when it is perpetrated by fans of IR.

  1. Anonymous

    Dude, seriously??? The irony is that ur profile name suggests u are a part of the opposition mafia group :)

  1. Aravind

    During arguments with IR-Fans/ARR-haters, I've almost always noticed that their arguments are built on illogical reasoning, twisted facts and complete lies.
    You are no different, and your history of ARR-hating is well known.
    Let me dissect your comment.

    - Fanatacism isn't restricted to IT alone.
    Agreed. There could be one off comment on IR songs youtube page. But, the fact of the matter is that the majority of ARR fans don't wait for every new IR album or IR interview to tweet ill about IR. After ARR's speech at the Oscar felicitation to stop the hatred, even the most violent ARR fans have toned down. But, IR himself creates hatred, and his fans follow suit.

    BTW, I'm talking about some of the the most famous and most "influential" IR fans on twitter, who are like the face of IR fans in the social media - they are the ones who spread the hatred. I happened to stumble upon one closed IR fan forum site, featuring the who-is-who of IR fan mafia. The forum, which is to be used for discussing IR's music, was filled with ARR hate comments.
    Can you point me to even one such forum which is dedicated for ARR's music, where IR is dissed? You can not.
    That is what I am talking about.
    You totally missed my point, whether deliberately or otherwise, I do not know!

    - IR has never made a negative remark particularly aimed at AR Rahman

    This must be the biggest joke. Even the staunchest mafia members agree that IR is bitter towards ARR. IR's jealousy at ARR's success and IR's despicable comments (which are on such poor taste) on AR Rahman are very well documented. There are video proofs for a few instances too - Pressmeet for IR's Padma Bhushan award, the recent London concert press meet etc. are classic examples. The videos are available in youtube. Apart from these, IR has made several distateful comments in his own weekly column in Tamil magazine Kumudam. Such articles written by IR which contain anti-ARR comments and comments against younger composers (including Amit Trivedi) can be found in several issues of Kumudam. There's no denying the fact that these were written by IR himself.
    Apart from these, IR also grabs any opportunity like audio launch functions to poke at ARR. In such events, he has also made fun of ARR by criticizing his famous "Ella pugazhum Iraivanukke". He has also made serious allegations against Oscar, not unlike the stupid comments by Ismail Durbar!

    Dude, what I've stated here are plain facts. Your comment doesn't hold water!

  1. Aravind


    Of course, I am serious. I've mentioned in the post that I am a hardcore AR Rahman fan. There's hatred from the mafia - I'm only saying stop the hatred. What's the problem with that?

  1. Anonymous

    I have no problem with you trying to stop the hatred or whatever it is you are trying to do... But what I have a problem is that when you try to portray your imagination of "Oh baby baby" chorus in the Ponnar Shankar song as a fact. When even a layman like me, who knows absolutely nothing about music, knows that it won't fit in that context, how would a genius put it in that period song.

    I am really hoping that you would correct this.

    PS: Well, you don't need to specify each and every time to point out that you are a ARR fanatic. It's quite obvious :)

  1. Aravind


    Sorry to break your bubble, but, the 'baby baby' chorus in Kannai Padaithen song (from Ponnar Shankar), is a fact. The period song has full techno beats, electronic pads and synth arpeggios, in addition to 'baby baby' in chorus.

    As you say, even a layman knows that it won't fit in a period film, but somehow, the genius didn't know. Sad.

    I usually wouldn't link a Raja song here, but here u go:

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