Where is the apology? Angry fans slam AR Rahman over Chennai concert row
Music maestro AR Rahman's fans continue to slam him on social media for not officially apologising about his grossly 'mismanaged’ Marukkuma Nenjam Chennai concert.
Music maestro AR Rahman's fans continue to slam him on social media for not officially apologising about his grossly 'mismanaged’ Marukkuma Nenjam Chennai concert. Rahman had issued a statement on X (formerly Twitter) on the chaos that ensued at his September 10 Chennai concert but did not apologise.
The concert organisers, ACTC Events, allegedly oversold tickets, which led to a stampede-like situation at the venue, the Adityaram Palace City. Fans who bought highly-priced tickets could not enter the venue and complete chaos ensued as the organisers were reportedly ill-prepared to handle them. Nearly 40,000 to 45,000 people landed up at the venue.
People rushed, separated from their parents, women were molested, and the audio at the concert was shoddy.
A day after the fiasco, when social media was filled with hate messages for the music icon, Rahman posted a message on X (formerly Twitter). He asked people who had purchased tickets and could not enter the venue owing to “unfortunate circumstances” to share a copy of the ticket purchase and he would refund them.
Where is the apology?
While some fans praised him, other lashed out asking for the official apology for the ordeal that people faced at his concert.
“Finally, the man said something. But, not even a mention of a apology,” said an X user.
Another fan pointed out that it was not about the money but what about the suffering of pregnant women and the elderly who had to wait for hours outside the concert venue asked another.
Calling it the scam of the decade, one user posted a video of tearing up the concert tickets. "This is such a superficial apology and an insincere damage control… It just shows, basically you don’t care!", said another.
A sacrificial goat
Meanwhile, Rahman, who claims to be “terribly disturbed” by the event, took on an injured tone and wrote on Instagram that he will be the “sacrificial goat” this time. And, went on to write cryptically about creating an environment in Chennai where there is "world-class infrastructure, efficient crowd management, traffic management, refining audiences to follow rules...creating a safe and surreal experience for children and women."
However, in an interview with a national newspaper, Rahman admitted that the concert turned out to be a "tsunami of people and love" that they were unable to handle. He told The Hindu that as a composer, his job was to give a terrific show, and he had thought everything else would be taken care of. And that he had no idea of what was happening outside while he was happily performing inside the venue.
Even as fans on social media slammed him for not choosing the right organisers to hold a concert, the music composer is reportedly to have said that he will ensure to take ownership of arrangements for the concert as well in the future.
However, one X user, who was reportedly molested in the melee at the concert venue wrote, “Finally we get apology and condemnation of ACTC events. At least he is taking accountability. But I don’t have the heart to be okay with this half-baked apology or whatever this is sir. I held you in my highest regards. Now I don’t have anything to say."
Choose love over hate: Karthi
Meanwhile, actors like Karthi, who was at the concert with his family, came out to support the composer. Calling what happened at the concert as unfortunate, Karthi said that knowing Rahman, he would be “immensely affected” by it.
“My family too was at the concert amid the chaos, but I stay with AR Rahman sir,” he said, adding that he hoped the event organisers take responsibility. “I request all the fans to choose love over hate, as Rahman sir has always given his love to all. Love above hate, wrote Karthi to share his support for AR Rahman.
AR Rahman’s daughter too came out in support of her father. Khatija Rahman pointed out that AR Rahman staged concerts to raise funds for causes and not for his own welfare.
She hit out at people for calling her father a scammer and blamed the organisers for the fiasco at the concert. Unfortunately for Rahman, this unforgettable concert has turned out to be just that but for the wrong reasons.