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Last Updated Sunday May 27 2018 05:24 PM IST

Arts in politics: What if the minister shakes a leg?

Sujith Nair
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politics-arts (From left clockwise) P.C. Vishnunath, Kadannappaly Ramachandran, M.A. Baby, M.K. Muneer, P.J. Joseph, V.T. Balram and Prathibha Hari

The ‘Jimikki Kammal’ mania has crossed the borders. The hit song from Mohanlal-starrer ‘Velipadinte Pusthakam’ has found cover versions from the most unlikeliest quarters. The latest to dance to the popular tune is V C Arukkutty.

Now before you start doubting your showbiz quotient, Arukkutty is no movie star. He is a leader of the AIADMK, the ruling party in Tamil Nadu. The legislator had no qualms shaking a leg at a public function and rightfully, he has gone viral.

When will we see a politician in Kerala dance to his heart’s content like Arukkutty? They could start training music and dance when students across the state are initiated to the world of letters on Vijayadashami this week.

Why not? Marx and Engels and even Lenin were excellent connoisseurs of music. Left ideologue Edward Said was an accomplished pianist. CPM politburo member M A Baby can’t live without music.

Still politicians are mocked when they take baby steps in arts. Minister Kadannappally Ramachandran and former minister P K Sreemathi learned it the hard way, being the targets of troll for singing and dancing in public forums. The political class, however, is firm on its march to arts appreciation. Memes do not worry them.

Artistes in politics

Imagine the names of P C Vishnunath, V T Balram, Chittayam Gopakumar and Kovoor Kunjumon in the credit line of a movie song. Well, it is real. The four legislators have lent their voices to a movie which is yet to be released.

When it comes to playback singing, no one can beat M K Muneer. The former minister has brought out about 10 music albums and sung for two movies - ‘Chembada’ and ‘K K Road’. He is even training under a music teacher in Thiruvananthapuram. So does Balram.

Purushan Kadalundi is a master of folk tunes. Vishnunath leads a musical collective in Alappuzha. They presented a musical concert at Chakkulathukavu on the previous Vijayadashami day.

Younger legislators form a party crowd in the evenings in the state capital. They meet up after the assembly sessions to unwind in music. Playback singers such as G Venugopal and Gayathri sometimes join them.

Anything for music

Chengannur MLA K K Ramachandran Nair cannot afford to miss a classical concert, pretty much like M A Baby. Nair has trained in classical music for five years. He has put together a cultural forum named Sargavedi, a smaller version of Baby’s Swaralaya.

K.J. Yesudas with M.A. Baby Singer K.J. Yesudas with M.A. Baby

Pratibha Hari has restarted music lessons. K V Abdul Khader is another singer in the political class. Despite all the singers, E P Jayarajan is the person to go when it comes to sing the Communist International in CPM party forums. He says it comes from the soul.

P J Joseph will start humming at the drop of a hat. Deputy speaker V Sasi even sang to a full house when he was in the chair. He did not know that the microphone was on!

Former deputy speaker Palode Ravi and Panthalam Sudhakaran fly the Congress banner high in the artistes’ group.

Poets and cartoonists

Everyone knows that minister G Sudhakaran is a poet. So is Perumbavoor MLA Eldhose Kunnappally.

CPM’s A Pradeep Kumar is a fine artist. Balram has even surprised V S Achuthanandan with an instant caricature of the veteran.

E.P. Jayarajan Despite all the singers, E P Jayarajan is the person to go when it comes to sing the Communist International in CPM party forums. He says it comes from the soul.

John Fernandes, the Anglo-Indian representative in the assembly, is a theater personality. When K C Abu MLA takes center stage, he conjures up memories of legendary actors.

Former MLA C K Sadasivan has enthralled the entire assembly with the popular folk songs of the boatmen. CPM’s K K Kunjiraman is an expert in Poorakkali.

Politics need not be prosaic. Even politicians are increasingly getting warmed to the idea. Politics may be more enjoyable if more politicians subscribe to Pablo Picasso’s theory that art is a cleansing agent.

There may be a day when trolls are reserved only for the deadpan politicians.

Read more: Columns | Straight Talk

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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