Loud and clear: Nedumangad native amplifying poll bugle calls for four decades

From simple hand-held megaphones and horn speakers to the era of sophisticated sound systems, Sabu has seen it all.
Sabu C, a CPM worker from Thiruvananthapuram
Sabu C, a CPM worker from Thiruvananthapuram

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : With a voice that commands attention, Sabu C, a dedicated CPM worker from Thiruvananthapuram, has been in the political landscape of the state capital as a seasoned announcer for over four decades.

Hailing from Nedumangad, Sabu entered politics and public speaking at age 15. From simple hand-held megaphones and horn speakers to the era of sophisticated sound systems, Sabu has seen it all.

“As children, my friends and I were fascinated by horn speakers. We all dreamt of being the ones to hold the microphone. I was 12 during the 1977 elections, and the energy and excitement surrounding them ignited a spark in me. I made my debut as an announcer during the first-ever local body election in 1980,” says Sabu, who was then the SFI unit secretary at Nedumangad Boys High School.

Campaign announcements were a fierce battleground during elections back in the day, recalls Sabu. “People used to gather in large numbers at Nedumangad town to listen to the heated exchanges between politicians. We did a lot of homework and chose our words carefully to grab the listeners’ attention and waited for the opposition parties to finish their announcements to give apt replies. Later, many announcers picked up the phrases that I used,” says Sabu.

He emphasises the importance of humility and persuasiveness while delivering announcements to avoid political mudslinging.

The tides turned when strict noise pollution regulations came into effect and speaker boxes became the new norm. “There were no recording studios then. In 1998, while campaigning for Varkala Radhakrishnan in the LS polls, I did the first cassette recording for which we set up a temporary studio. In manual recording, we had to tape the entire announcement again in case of any mistake,” said Sabu, who has served two terms as Nedumangad municipality councillor and health standing committee chairman.

For him, the campaigns he did for Susheela Gopalan, Varkala Radhakrishnan and K V Surendranath remain most memorable. “The speeches of EMS, E K Nayanar and V S Achuthanandan mesmerised me. They have influenced me as a public speaker and an announcer,” says Sabu. The star announcer is currently busy doing election campaigns for V Joy, the LDF candidate for Attingal constituency.

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