It’s an idea that needed a song – the idea of picking 21 gifted Indians under 21, giving them a platform, and celebrating their talent. When TOI’s #Unstoppable 21 campaign reached out to music director and composer Shantanu Moitra, he thought, he told the audience at Monday’s event, finding an anthem would be a challenge.
“When these kinds of challenges come up,” Moitra said, “I usually ask myself, ‘What would the Common Man have said’?” Common Man, RK Laxman’s iconic creation for his TOI cartoons, has been a go-to source of inspiration for him, the composer said.
Clearly, Moitra’s communion with Common Man works wonderfully. The composer reworked Hum Honge Kamyaab… Ek Din – the Hindi version of the American gospel-turned-protest-turnedinspirational song, We Shall Overcome… Some Day – and the anthem for #Unstoppable 21 became Hum Ho Rahe Kamyaab… Dekh Lo.
It worked – with the audience, with the special invitees and, most important, with the young Indians being honoured at the #Unstoppable 21 celebrations.
Moitra’s lilting music, strings and percussions in great abandon but complementing each other with precision, and inspiring lyrics from Tanveer Ghazi turned an old familiar song to a sparkly new anthem for the brightest and the best among India’s young.
But that wasn’t all. Every singer, every musician who performed the anthem was under 21, and they were as spectacularly talented as those the anthem was celebrating. How did Moitra track them down?
“We were tracking these incredible kids on social media. A few others I had heard about from music schools. At the end of the day, I wanted faces that have become inter net sensations, purely because of their skills, and irrespective of whether they know Hindi or English,” the composer said.
“I have used artistes from all over the country… I genuinely believe that talent does not know caste, colour, or creed. That’s why I am so proud of this anthem,” Moitra said. A fitting note for #Unstoppable 21. The young artistes were from all over India, Rajasthan to Nagaland, from up north and down south.
The icing on the cake was the music video, directed by Parasher Baruah. A brilliant montage of dancing and singing young artistes, spliced with visuals of Indian triumphs – Chandrayaan-3, Asiad medals, unicorn startups and more.
The biggest test of a creative work is audience reaction. And it was clear from the foot-tapping, applauding, singing-along audience that Hum Ho Rahe Kamyaab was the song that captured the defining spirit of #Unstoppable 21.
Launched on August 15 this year, the initiative (www. showcases 21 young Indian prodigies, under 21, who have made a global impact. The #Unstoppable21 anthem, featuring young artistes from across the country, captures this spirit of an unstoppable nation. To watch, scan the QR code.

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