Singing parodies into voters' hearts

With barely three weeks for the Lok Sabha election, Kerala’s political parties are grappling with the fallout of defections, new alliances and the challenge from formidable opponents. 

But this poll season, it’s business as usual for 36-year-old Abdul Khader–a song writer based in Kochi–as he works overtime in the recording studio, creating songs for the two warring political fronts with the same gusto. Kerala has been a flourishing market for “parody songs” since the 1990s, but a post-digital lull had hit the industry before Assembly and Lok Sabha elections revitalised the market.  Abdul started out with election parodies in 1997. Seventeen years later, he has morphed into a busy producer churning out songs on demand both for the ruling United Democratic Front and the opposition Left Democratic Front.

“This is a fairly easy season because it’s the Lok Sabha election. With 20 constituencies, there’s a maximum of only about 60 candidates to work for. With the Assembly election that covers 140 constituencies, it’s a different scene,” Abdul said. 

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