On an evening in 1973, when late charismatic actor and political leader M.G. Ramachandran, fielded Maya Thevar as the AIADMK’s candidate for the Dindigual Lok Sabha by-polls then, the new party’s maiden electoral contest, his song writers gifted him a catchy Tamil song that turned out to be prophetic.
Presaging the AIADMK’s political rise, the song “Namathu Vetriyai Naalai Charithiram Sollum” (History will speak of our victories), a title number in the hugely popular MGR-starrer ‘Ulagam suttrum Vaaliban,’ heralded the fledgling party’s emergence to become a formidable force in the State’s politics until MGR was alive.
Nearly 41 years after the party’s historic victory at Dindigul, the AIADMK, facing the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, has picked a leaf from its own history. The party has released a set of two CDs — one with 11 songs by Pulamaipithan, erstwhile poet laureate in the MGR era —, that strikes a similar triumphant note. Only this time it projects the Prime Ministerial prospects of the party supremo and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. The songs in the second album have been written by another lyricist, Kadhalmadhi.
The music for the album has been scored by noted music director Deva, who is also the president of the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram. Noted singers like S.P. Balasubramaniam, Mano, Chinmayi and Ananthu have rendered the songs.
Though most of the songs in this album — used as effective campaign tool by the AIADMK- harp on the theme of Ms. Jayalalithaa “becoming the Prime Minister,” the first two songs “Ithu chengottaikku pokira railyu vaarunka; Delhi simmasanathial amma amarkira kaatchi parunga” (board the train for Red Fort to watch Amma adorning the Prime Ministerial seat) and “nam puratchi thalaivai pirthamaraavathu kaalathin kattayam” (it is destiny that is making Jayalalithaa the Prime Minister) are direct in their messages.
While the DMK banked on its leader M. Karunanidhi’s oratorical skills, MGR, who suffered a bullet injury in his throat, made use of powerful dialogues and songs in his films to convey his message. He had song writers who captured the essence of his vision and agenda in the Tamil songs.
“MGR used to play the song ‘vaasal engum erattai ilai kolam idungal (decorate your homes with two leaves symbol)’ after making a speech at every point during the 1977 general election that led to the AIADMK capturing power in the State,” recalled Mr. Pulamaipithan, who penned many of the politically inspiring songs in MGR’s films.
Another song writer Muthulingam said MGR had even made special arrangements for release of two songs — ‘Ithu naatai kaakum kai’ and ‘anbukku naan adimai’ in the film ‘Indru Pol Endrum Vaazhga’ — by a recording company in Calcutta in 1977.
This also attracted the attention of the ‘Washington Post’ then, which in an article reported how the two songs played a role in the AIADMK’s victory at the hustings.
“Director Shankar read out that report for me. Of course it was hyped as MGR was a charismatic leader in his own right; but the news report explained the importance of the songs in the election campaign,” recalled Mr. Muthulingam.