NAGAPATTINAM: Odi Varugiran Udhaya Sooriyan (Rising Sun is Rushing Towards You) blares a campaign vehicle of the DMK and its allies. This and other songs of ‘Nagore’ Haniffa remain the harbinger of any party event as they continue to strike a chord with the cadre and the general public.
No wonder, he lives by his songs as death has not robbed the voice that reverberates at every DMK meeting. It isn’t an overstatement. For, the thunderous and majestic voice of Nagore Ismail Mohammed Haniffa continues to enthuse the cadre.
His sonorous voice earned him the nickname ‘Isai Murasu’ and as much as his Islamic devotional numbers, his DMK propaganda songs were a huge hit. During election campaigns, his songs being played in the area are a must.
A year after the death of the iconic singer, who was a die-hard Karunanidhi loyalist, his songs eulogises the patriarch and provides the DMK ideology in a nutshell. Kallakudi Konda Karunanidhi (Known for Karunanidhi’s Protest at Kallakudi) is one such popular number.
Though a plethora of jingles surface nowadays with various political parties creatively remixing evergreen Tamil songs to suit their propaganda, the songs of Isai Murasu hold a special place for the DMK.
“Nagore Haniffa’s songs are very special and every DMK cadre has grown up listening to them. They continue to help rejuvenate party workers. We are still banking on his eternal voice as his songs are elixir in imparting energy to our cadre,” says former MP and DMK district secretary, AKS Vijayan.
DMK treasurer MK Stalin has admitted during a commemorative meeting that the late singer’s thunderous voice overshadows even popular movie songs in mobilising support for the conferences of Dravida Munnetra Kazhalam (DMK) for more than half a century.
Born at Nagore on December 25, 1925, to Mohammed Ismayil of Nagore and Mariyam Beevi of Ramanathapuram, Haniffa was attracted to politics at a young age, and considered Dravidian stalwart and former Chief Minister C N Annadurai as his mentor. Later, he became a loyalist of Karunanidhi.
The iconic singer passed away on April 8, 2015. His family, meanwhile, is bitter with the DMK leaders for not holding a grand commemoration celebrating his life and legacy.
“Though the legendary singer T M Soundararajan did not have any close association with DMK, he was accorded a grand felicitation at Madurai. But, for Haniffa, the party has not hosted any such,” said Haniffa’s son E M H Noushad.
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