The Telegraph
Wednesday , February 20 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Singers strum ‘my vote’ melody

Money, muscle passé...

Phek, Feb. 19: The strains of My vote makes my future and other tunes will woo voters in the Nagaland Assembly elections as different parties and candidates bring along Naga singers to solicit votes for them.

Music has been part of elections in the state since 2003 when the then home minister Neiphiu Rio resigned from the Congress and joined the Naga People’s Front (NPF). Rio had recorded around 10 songs, which spoke of corruption, bad governance and anti-Naga activities by chief minister S.C. Jamir.

Throughout his campaign trail a group of singers accompanied him and CDs were distributed to the people.

The election department has produced My vote makes my future to exhort Naga voters to come out and vote on February 23. The song has been uploaded on social websites and radio and Doordarshan and local cable TV channels. The department has also distributed CDs to the churches in the state.

Naga musicians are busy attending election campaigns throughout the state. Last week, the Nagas’ king of rock ‘n’ roll, Methanielie Solo, performed at Public Ground, Phek, for Independent candidate Vekho Swuro, who is contesting against NPF candidate Kuzholuzo Nienu, minister for health and family welfare, from Phek constituency.

While the NPF campaigners favoured world famous rock band Queen’s hit, We are the champion, Methanielie today sang, Nagaland city kuribole (To make Nagaland a city), which speaks of decaying society, rampant corruption, bad governance, poor economic condition of the people and instability of Naga politicians.

Methanielie, who was inspired by famous Bollywood playback singer Kishore Kumar, has written dozens of songs on social issues. His songs portray Naga society.

Independent candidate from Western Angami constituency, Huzo Meru, has engaged The Heritage, a band, to support his campaign trail.

Theja Meru of The Heritage is of the strong view that music can work magic during elections. The band belts out different types of songs to suit the young and the old alike.

NPF candidate from Northern Angami-I constituency, Kheriehu Liezietsu, son of NPF president Dr Shurhozelie Lieziestu, has also engaged singers from his Kohima village.

The Congress had used heavy metal band Scorpions’ all-time hit, Wind of change as a theme song during the visit of party president Sonia Gandhi at Dimapur on February 7.

The state government had formed a music task force to promote Naga musicians. Naga musicians have begun to perform outside the country as well. Upcoming Naga musicians have also been inspired by the visit of several top international rock bands in the last couple of years.

Moreover, the government organises the Hornbill National Rock contest in December during the Hornbill Festival, the highest paid rock contest in the country.