Published: 14th April 2019
Ambedkar Jayanti: Listen to Casteless Collective's tribute 'Thalaivaa', penned by late gaana singer Chetpet Ramesh
On the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti, Pa Ranjith's Casteless Collective released a song in his honour
Dr BR Ambedkar has been lovingly referred to as Babasaheb all these years but from today, he might be referred to by a new name -- Thalaivaa. On his 128th birth anniversary, Neelam Cultural Centre and the Casteless Collective released a new song called Thalaivaa to celebrate the iconic reformer and leader.
Last year on the same say, the Casteless Collective released their first single and it was called the Jaibhim Anthem. This year, the band released a more emotional track. The lyrics were penned about 20 years ago by Chetpet Ramesh, who died a couple of years ago. A gaana singer himself, Ramesh had written the song many years ago and many gaana singers have been singing the song since.
While the music is by Tenma, the band leader of the Casteless Collective, the song has been sung by K Muthu from the band. "Ramesh died a few years ago. He was in complete poverty when he died," Tenma said. Whilel it was written many years ago, Tenma said the lyrics are still apt for the fundamental issues we face today.
"Last year, we wanted to create an anthem, this time we decided to release Thalaivaa, which Ramesh had written in tribute to Ambedkar. It has been sung by many gaana singers over the years, Muthu's family has also been singing it for many years," he added. Muthu said that when he performed the song for Tenma, he sang with all his heart, which was why they had chosen to recreate the song for this year's Ambedkar Jayanti.
The song talks about the continued oppression of the caste system and the communal divide among people that Ambedkar has tried to abolish. Muthu said he felt extremely proud and privileged to have sung this song, "As an independent artist too, it was a great opportunity for me," he said. The song has already crossed 7,500 views on YouTube.