U2 have unveiled a surprise new track to mark their first-ever visit to India. ‘Ahimsa’ is a collaboration between the superstar rock quartet and the Grammy and Oscar-winning composer-producer A.R. Rahman. It’s now available to stream in all platforms, and you can watch the lyric video here:
‘Ahimsa’ is the Sanskrit word for non-violence, and the song celebrates the spiritual diversity of India in a new cross-cultural meeting of two powerful musical forces. The song, with its optimistic, aspirational feel, arrives less than a month before U2’s first show in India, when The Joshua Tree Tour hits Mumbai on 15 December.
“Ahimsa requires courage and strength,” comments Rahman ‘A quality that is impervious to weapons or power. It’s a mission which is most needed to heal the modern world and it is incredible timing to collaborate with U2, with their amazing legacy, to revive this movement.”
U2 guitarist The Edge added: “It has been an absolute joy to work with A.R. on this track. A superstar and a talent both towering and generous, we are especially excited to visit his homeland in just a few weeks.
“India has been on our bucket list for a very long time, the principles of ahimsa or non-violence have served as an important pillar of what our band stands for since we first came together to play music. We can’t wait to experience the culture of India first hand, a place that brings together the modern and the ancient all at once.”
Bono commented: “The fight against injustice has always been so important to us. We were somewhat shaped and formed by Martin Luther King who was a student of Mahatma Gandhi. Martin Luther King said ‘The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice…’ I don’t believe that anymore…it doesn’t bend towards justice, it has to be bent towards justice.
“We have to be actively involved in our democracy to preserve it and show people how we feel and what we care about…We come as students to the source of inspiration…That is ahimsa…non-violence…India gave this to us… the greatest gift to the world…It is more powerful than nuclear energy, the armies, the navies, the British Empire. It is power itself. And it’s never been more important.”
Before the end of 2019, U2 will also release remixes of four songs in their catalogue by local Indian artists.