Artists for the Earth

To commemorate Earth Day, Indian musicians collaborate on tribute to Earth

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, some of India’s most prominent musicians came together to create an anthem for the Earth: “Dharti Ma,” or “Mother Earth.”

“Mother Earth, we salute you; You on whom we are dependent,” sing the musicians from their homes, over violin, guitar and percussion. “You who has nurtured us for centuries; Our grateful thanks.”

“Dharti Ma” is sung in eight different languages, with these lyrics repeated throughout. The accompanying video features musicians singing from home studios, against the backdrop of sounds and images of nature. As of Thursday morning, the video had more than 1 million views on Twitter and had been picked up by major media outlets and radio stations.

“Dharti Ma” comes at a time of anxiety and uncertainty for many people. The coronavirus has swept across the world, killing thousands and shutting down countries and economies. Meanwhile, climate change continues to batter communities. 

In that lens, “Dharti Ma” serves as a song of hope.

“Music heals, music is a prayer,” said musician Bombay Jayashri, who is also an Earth Day Network ambassador. “We are going through a very challenging time. Through the notes and the melody, we prayerfully wish for peace and wellbeing on Earth.”

“Dharti Ma” was composed by Amrit Ramnath and features nine noted musicians — Shankar Mahadevan, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Hansraj Hans, Bombay Jayashri, Mahesh Kale, Abhishek Raghuram, Shweta Mohan, MD Pallavi, and Abhay Jodhpurkar.

Karuna Singh, Earth Day Network’s regional director of Asia, and the Earth Day India staff coordinated the anthem to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  

“In this moment of the acute climate crisis, humanity needs to speak in one voice to protect our common home, Earth,” said Singh. “‘Dharti Ma’ is a gift to all who inhabit Earth from the artists and us.”

Music brings people together, especially during difficult times, and it has always played an important role in the environmental movement. Use your voice for change and register as an Artist for the Earth