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Ponniyin Selvan 2 director Mani Ratnam on being an atheist: 'I'm really in awe of people who have faith'

In a recent conversation that also included A.R. Rahman and lyricist Gulzar, Mani Ratnam was with posed an interesting question regarding atheism

Ponniyin Selvan 2 director Mani Ratnam on being an atheist: 'I'm really in awe of people who have faith'
Mani Ratnam still

Last Updated: 06.36 PM, May 01, 2023


For filmmaker Mani Ratnam, being an atheist isn't a badge of honour that he carries around but simply a matter of fact. In a recent interview, the Ponniyin Selvan 2 maker was posed with an interesting question by popular film critic/journalist Anupama Chopra about the concept of spiritual faith and how it has potentially navigated his career thus far.

"Both you and S.S. Rajamouli are atheists and I wonder if there is any link between that and the incredible artists that you are. Like faith fuels A.R. Rahman's art, is it possible for the lack of faith to enable creativity? Because both of you (Ratnam and Rajamouli) are singular sensations," inquired Anupama Chopra. 

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Mani Ratnam, who was first caught off-guard because of the probing question, took a while to gather his thoughts before he could reason that if at all, the 'lack of spiritual faith' in him is not a virtue or a quality but a kind of void that he is fully aware of. And when it comes to collaborating or creating synergies with artists or people of faith, he is somehow able to keep his ideology excluded from the equation.

"I don't know if I can make a connection from my point of view. But I can understand - whether it is Rahman or Ilaiyaraja - faith brings something extraordinary out of them. So, maybe the 'lack' of it is what I am lacking. But in my case, it is completely different because though that is who I am as a person, it still has nothing to do with my work, with cinema or the people around me. I am really in awe of people who have faith - it's wonderful because some of the best music has come out of that, some of the best poetry has come out of that and without it, I don't think such levels could have been reached in art. I don't have it but I admire somebody who has it," said the filmmaker in response.

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