சாந்தன்: இயக்கப்பாட்டு யாத்திரை |Santhan: Rebel Song Journey | BBC documentry about SG Santhan
Released On: 17 May 2016
He was a prominent Tamileelam liberation singer.
One man’s soul-destroying struggle to keep singing when he had lost everything else.
In the last days of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009 the only thing Santhan wanted to do was sing. Surviving in a bunker, he had lost his son and daughter in a shell attack and his other son was arrested.
After the defeat of the Tamil rebels, no one dared to hum one of Santhan’s songs, even privately. He was the voice of the rebellion and his music was completely erased. Tapes of his songs were buried under the blood-soaked red sand of the backyards, or discreetly burnt in small bonfires. He also lost his home and all his instruments.
The winners of the war then asked him to sing again, but gave Santhan different lyrics and different heroes to sing about. He sang whatever was given to him. “In the end, I am a singer!” he convinced himself.
For survival, and to keep singing, he began to sing devotional songs in Hindu temples and pop songs at children’s birthday parties. In the chaotic post war atmosphere of uncertainty and loss, Santhan also turned to alcohol.
Priyath Liyanage tells Santhan's story - a story of the music that was lost and the tragic consequences of war.