Irish band U2 in collaboration with Academy Award-winning composer AR Rahman has launched a new track, "Ahimsa" inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's movement and ideology of the same name, ahead of their maiden performance in India. U2's lead vocalist Bono said that the band is shaped and formed by Martin Luther King who was a student of Mahatma Gandhi and that is how the idea for the track came to them.
Island Records announced the release of the track which aims to celebrate the spiritual diversity of the country. Rahman said "Ahimsa" requires courage and strength, 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," he said in a statement. U2 guitarist The Edge said the band is excited to visit the country, which has been on their bucket list for a 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." U2 lead vocalist Bono said the fight against injustice "has always been so important to us" and they 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 any more. 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," he added.
The collaboration comes less than one month ahead of U2's first ever show in the country with the arrival of The Joshua Tree Tour in Mumbai on December 15.