On social media, a video of music producer AR Rahman instructing his wife to speak in Tamil rather than Hindi at an awards ceremony has gone viral.
Rahman received recognition at the most recent Vikatan Cinema Awards. He requested his wife Saira Banu to join him on stage to take the prize and say a few words, but just before she started, he said to her in Tamil, “Please speak in Tamil, not Hindi.”
Although Saira seemed uneasy, she grinned and apologised for her lack of Tamil language proficiency. Therefore, I kindly ask for your forgiveness. His voice is one of my favourites, therefore I am really delighted and excited. His voice made me fall in love. All I have to say is that.
Rahman has supported the Tamil language while working in several sectors and producing music in many other languages. The Tamil national anthem, Tamil Thai Vaazhthu, was written by Manonmaniam Sundaram Pillai and composed by MS Viswanathan. When Union Home Minister Amit Shah stated that residents of different states should communicate with one another in Hindi rather than English, Rahman shared an illustration of “Thamizhanangu” of “Goddess Tamil” from the song.
In 1995, Rahman and Saira were united in marriage, which his mother arranged. Several years ago, he admitted to Simi Garewal on her talk show that he didn't have time to look for a spouse. I was quite busy since I was working on all these films including Rangeela in Bombay. But I was certain that the timing was perfect for me to tie the knot. At the age of 29, I informed my mum. Find me a bride, I cried.