To give every Indian a number, Team Nilekani has own number
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"When we composed the part 'Apne apne naam aayega', we started thinking how this will happen. Then we thought about the process and the biometrics, and the lines started coming to us," said Sagar, who produced the song along with sister Namita.
"We can't say 'take it'. This is a request... We sat over it. We thought about the people it would cater to. At every step, one was so nervous."
When Sagar flew to Delhi to meet Sinha, he was impressed. The lyrics, he felt, not only fit the project's purpose but also reflect its logo — a sun-and-thumb impression designed by Pune software engineer Atul Kumar Pandey.
But for "minor corrections", said UIDAI Director General R S Sharma, they were "in the process of finalising the song".
For composing the music, Sagar approached Rajat Dholakia, who had composed the music jointly with A R Rahman for the Genda phool song in Delhi 6. He is also credited with bringing Chhattisgarhi folk music to mainstream Bollywood.
Folk musicians from all regions were called for recording in the studio. They would use everything — from the traditional santoor, ektara, ravan hatha, mridangam, tabla, bansuri, dholak and madal to piano, strings, guitar and drums. The guitar and drums were meant to reach out to urban india and the affluent, groups they are finding difficult to reach out to given their low need for such an identification system.
"We didn't use any electronic music. We wanted to cover the north, east, south, west, all of India," says Sagar.
The song was sung by Javed Ali, who sang Jashn-e-bahaara in Jodha Akbar, and Richa Sharma, who lent her voice to Maahi Ve and Sajda numbers.
The song is also being translated into major Indian languages. A Telugu version, sung by Karunya and Apoorva, has already been recorded and now the team is working on a Marathi version as the official launch will be in Maharashtra. They are also working on the visuals, and will book radio and television spots.
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