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Music to woo young voters

- Shillong Chamber Choir helps state poll panel

I stumbled, now I stand

Alone or in a crowd.

I sing out loud

Time I took that charge

All I need is a need for all...it takes just one...

Shillong, March 24: Music and the tunes of democracy can go hand-in-hand, especially in the run-up to one of the country’s greatest “festivals” in five years — the parliamentary elections.

The above excerpt from Just One, a music video produced by Meghalaya chief electoral officer in collaboration with Shillong Chamber Choir, is the latest design to woo people, especially the young, to enrol as voters. They are being urged to stand in a queue in different polling booths to vote for their representatives to the Lok Sabha.

Meghalaya has a total electorate of 15,53,028, of which 63,018 are in the age group of 18-19 years.

But it is not the music alone.

In the four-minute video, known faces like choreographer Wanda Nongbri, reigning Miss Shillong Suman Lyngdoh, model Sneha Biswa, painter Careen Langstieh, karate coach Linza Syiem, model Tatyana Momin and a host of others impart awareness about enrolment as voters and the importance of one vote.

Set in different places of the capital city and its outskirts, the video was conceptualised by Maheep Dhillon while Neil Nongkynrih of Shillong Chamber Choir is the music director. Dhillon and William Richmond, who is also a member of the choir, have penned the lyrics.

Dhillon was an assistant director in 3 Idiots and associate director of Ferrari ki Sawaari. Rajesh Mapuskar, who made his directorial debut with Ferrari ki Sawaari, is supervising the production.

Damon M. Lyndem, the executive producer, said, “Although it is a team effort, our associate director Fourness Dhar played a very important role. He started working on the project about three months ago, scouted locations and gathered all the cast members.” He also said the video has been put up on YouTube since the last three days.

The musicians involved singers William Richmond and Donna Marthong, drummer Shaun Nonghuloo, guitarist Victor Miller, pianist Keviseno Terhuja while Dauni Laloo played the folk instruments.

The locale of the video included the picturesque Ward’s Lake, the sprawling Golflinks, Laitlum in Smit village and Phan Nonglait Park (earlier known as Lady Hydari Park).

Towards the end of the video, a group of young people, who are speech-impaired, transmits a message — I vote, because I am 18, and because I have a voice — in sign language.

Perhaps its underlying significance was to demonstrate the fact that democracy cannot and should not be discriminatory — everyone has a stake in the system, provided you are 18 and above, and have enrolled yourself as a voter.

Question marks all round
Grab the answers ’n’ bring ’em to the ground
The roads a maze for sure
But the key is you and me...it takes just one...


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