After captivating India’s globally popular film industry and its entertainment-craving public, Sri Lanka’s chartbuster song Manike Mage Hithe (In my Heart) has now made its appearance in an Indian election campaign
After captivating India’s globally popular film industry and its entertainment-craving public, Sri Lanka’s chartbuster song Manike Mage Hithe (In my Heart) has now made its appearance in an Indian election campaign.
The Sinhala track, which grabbed over 100 million views on YouTube, has been repurposed for canvassing support in favor of one of India’s top politicians, Mamata Banerjee, who, many believe, may emerge as the face of the opposition against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the general elections slated to take place in 2024.
Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal state, is contesting a by-election which she needs to win to keep her job. Her party, Trinamool Congress, won assembly elections to the state for the third straight time beating off a stiff challenge from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP. Banerjee herself had lost narrowly from her constituency to a defector from her party and needed to win a by-poll in six months to retain her chief ministership.
A father-daughter duo has remixed the chartbuster into a tribute to Banerjee, who is in the fray from the Bhabanipur constituency in south Kolkata for the September 30 by-poll.
Within a week of its release, the Bengali version has become a hit on YouTube. The duo changed the original lyrics — substituting “Manike Mage Hithe” with “Ma, Maati Maanush Hitey (for the sake of mother, motherland and people)” — but retaining the background score. Ma, Maati, Manush is theme slogan of Banerjee’s party Trinamool Congress.
Rajesh Chakraborty, who came up with the Bengali version with his daughter Aparajita, shared the video on his Facebook page. The song has been released on social media just days before Ms Banerjee’s bypoll contest. The makers hope it will be as popular as Lankan singer Yohani Diloka De Silva’s original.
With the Bengali song blaring in the background, the video shows Banerjee addressing public meetings, cuddling children, or walking in processions.
The Sinhala song has not only bewitched top Bollywood celebrities, including superstar Amitabh Bachchan, but also drawn thousands of fans, spawning versions in multiple Indian languages.
First released as a single music video in July last year, the song was crooned by Sri Lankan singer-musician Satheeshan, 25, and rapper Dulan ARX, also its lyricist, and produced by Chamath Sangeeth. The music video directed by Hasith Aryan featured Madushi Soysa, Kasun Tharaka and Ruwan Priyadarshana.
After the song became popular, Sangeeth collaborated with famed Lankan singer-rapper Yohani to release the duet cover featuring the original singer Satheeshan
Indian fans have mainly fallen for the stunning voice of 28-year-old Yohani, whose version of the song is currently viral.