Sadda Haq

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For the film, see Sadda Haq (film).
"Sadda Haq (Our Right)"
Song by Mohit Chauhan, Arpit Gupta from the album Rockstar
Released 30 September 2011
Recorded Panchathan Hollywood Studio, Los Angeles
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 6:05
Label T-Series
Writer(s) A. R. Rahman (composer)
Irshad Kamil (lyricist)
Producer(s) A. R. Rahman

"Sadda Haq" is a song composed by A. R. Rahman for the 2011 Indian musical film Rockstar. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri in leading roles and is directed by Imtiaz Ali, known for his previous romantic caper Jab We Met. The song features vocals by Mohit Chauhan and additional vocals by Clinton Cerejo and Arpit Gupta. The song also features Orianthi as a guitarist.[1]

"Sadda Haq" has a powerful set of lyrics with a rebellious tone. The hook, "sadda haq aithe rakh" is Punjabi for "give me what's mine, right here (and right now)".


A.R.Rahman with Orianthi during the recording of Sadda Haq

According to Rahman, Rockstar is "a character driven film" and hence he had to make use of rock music and guitars.[2] While working on "Sadda Haq", the team (Rahman, Imtiaz, Irshad Kamil and Mohit Chauhan) agreed that they needed a fantastic lead guitarist to justify the tempo and the lyrics of the song. While Rahman and director Imtiaz Ali had short-listed several Indian and international musicians, they had Orianthi on the top of their list, given her incredible body of work and their huge international success. Rahman checked with her agent in Los Angeles and even met Orianthi during one of his visits there. He made her hear the track and Orianthi immediately agreed to be a part of the film,[1] hence Rahman's first collaboration with Orianthi.


Rahman recorded the song in his Los Angeles studio. Mohit Chauhan says, "I spent an entire day trying to record Sadda Haq with Rahman saab, and a sweet boy, Arpit Gupta, who helped me learn a rock tone. The next day, I did a take when he was yet to arrive and it sounded perfect."[3] The process took six hours, while Imtiaz witnessed the entire process through Skype.[4]

Music video[edit]

Ranbir Kapoor performing the song in the film.

The music video has Ranbir Kapoor performing in front of a live audience. The video was shot mainly at the Norbulingka monastery in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, Antonio De Souza High School in Mumbai and at Central Park in Connaught Place, Delhi, showcasing the band performing to a packed audience.[5][6] A group of 200 performers from Shimla who had worked with Imtiaz Ali during the shoot of "Yeh Ishq Hai" from Jab We Met teamed up for Sadda Haq too. The group that specialises in the folk dance of Tibet had reportedly left the director impressed by their talent. "While shooting for Rockstar in Dharamshala Antonio Desouza high school for a concert sequence for Sadda Haq, Imtiaz suggested calling the same group of performers from Shimla with whom he had worked during Jab We Met,” says a source from the production team."[7]

Ranbir had travelled to Chennai and stayed with Rahman for a week in order to "feel the song imbibe and absorb it" so that when he finally performs it, the song would be an "extension of his personality."[8]


The song received immense critical praise. Mitesh Saraf of Planet Bollywood wrote, "It’s mad, it’s wild, and it’s strangely catchy, Sadda Haq, Aithe Rakh portrays the anguish and audacious Janardan (the protagonist of the movie, played by Ranbir Kapoor) in the movie and is no short of being an anthem in the coming days, especially in case of protests. It takes a bit (1.30 minutes) of time to set the mood and the high point comes in the form of some bold lyrics thrown at society with Mohit Chauhan in a never-heard before high pitched voice which leaves the listeners stunned. The highly energetic Electric Guitar (Kudos to Rahman for selecting Orianthi) and Drums (Ranjit Barot) provides an adrenalin rush and sweeps you off your feet.[9]


Major parts of the song video were shot at the Norbulingka monastery in McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala. People waving the Free Tibet flag in the backdrop was shown in the song video. This triggered a dispute between Central Board of Film Certification and Imtiaz Ali when the Board ordered Ali to blur the flag and Free Tibet slogan before the film hit the theatre, but the director refused to do it. Imtiaz Ali said, "I am not concerned at all. I have been out of India for long and don’t know what's going on, but I don’t see anything controversial in the intention portrayal in the movie. The purpose of the movie is not to make any social message, it's more about personal freedom rather than a geographical issue."[6] However, Ali had to remove the sequence from the video to get the film's censor done. Later an official from the Board revealed: "The Censor Board chief explained to them that all the cuts were made by the director voluntarily, and he had the option of appealing to a review board which he didn’t do. There were certain discussions between (Imtiaz) Ali and the Board regarding retaining a kiss between two actors (Ranbir and Nargis), but there have been no disagreement regarding deleting the flag from the frames." Deletion of the Tibetan flag from the video caused wide protests in Tibet, Dharamsala and Chennai.[10][11]


  1. ^ a b "MJ's female guitarist strums for Rockstar"
  2. ^ "Nothing gets Rahman worked up". Hindustan Times. June 2011. Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Emotional turmoil essential for good music: Rahman". NDTV. 2 November 2011. Accessed 8 November 2011.
  4. ^ "AR Rahman records with Michael Jackson's lead guitarist for Rockstar". 1 October 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Delhi band rocks with Ranbir". Hindustan Times. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "'Sadda Haq' drags Imtiaz to controversy". IndiaBlooms. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Imtiaz teams up with 200 dancers"
  8. ^ "Ranbir Kapoor rushes to Chennai for the recording of climax song of Rockstar". Bollywood Hungama. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  9. ^ "Music Review"
  10. ^ "Tibetans in Chennai protest against deletion of scenes in Rockstar" 10 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011
  11. ^ "Protests over Tibetan flag deletion In film continue"