What happens when a Chief Minister and a musician collaborate? The outcome is an anthem rich with political meaning and artistic flavour. Case in point, in 2010, the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had invited the Mozart of Madras AR Rahman to produce music for the former’s pièce de résistance, 'Semmozhiyaana Thamizh Mozhiyaam', a Tamil anthem.
Also titled 'SemMozhi', the song was penned by Kalaignar and composed by AR Rahman for the World Classical Tamil Conference in June 2010.
In fact, Karunanidhi insisted that Rahman compose the theme music for the conference, which was a gathering of scholars, poets, political leaders and celebrities to celebrate Tamil language and literature.
After almost two months and a half, the video was released in May 2010, and lauded by Karunanidhi.
A fierce crusader of Tamil language, Karunanidhi underscored the history of the literature and praised the works of Tamil poets such as Kambar and Avvaiyar.
Directed by Gautham Menon, the video album also featured the DMK supremo in a cameo appearance. It featured a long line-up of 70 playback singers, including, T. M. Soundararajan, P Susheela, Bombay Jayashri, Aruna Sayeeram, Shruti Haasan, Hariharan and Nithyasree Mahadevan, too.
A report in The Hindu said that the line ‘Semmozhiyaana Tamizh mozhiyaam’ was one of Rahman’s favourite lines penned by Kalaignar.
The duo came together for the theme song after 13 years. It was speculated then that Kalaignar wanted the music director to compose music for another film that he had scripted.
In 2009, Karunanidhi had congratulated Rahman for bagging two Grammy awards for Slumdog Millionaire.