A MASTER WHO LOVED QURAN……………… And loved by Buddhists
Posted on November 8th, 2009

Piyal Samarakone

His devotion to Islam and being a great follower was not a barrier to bring enormous amount of satisfaction especially to Buddhists minds with his golden voice for decades. Master Alhaj Mohideen Baig was a rare singer who reigned over the local musical arena for decades by singing out of his mother tongue was extraordinary. His native place called Salem in Tamil Nadu a picturesque land but he selected Sri Lanka as his home in 1932 became a distinguished Sri Lankan citizen after 24 years during S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s regime.

It was a known secret that he wrote lyrics in Urdu and sang those undying songs with his one of a kind impeccable voice, which embraced by vast Buddhists majority with much respect. We all know without a doubt Baig Master’s voice made a huge impact on most of the social/cultural events and in specially during the Vesak period. He was the only Sri Lankan singer to duet with music queen Lata Mangeshkar and believed he has sung nearly 10000 songs at the time of his demise.

Master Baig was one of the most influential multicultural and multi-religious figures in the Sri Lankan art history who had had a very close contact with most of our head of states, from Prime Minister Bandaranaike who awarded the citizenship and to President Premadasa who was an ardent fan of the Maestro.

Nevertheless, he lived quiet a humble life until his death in 1991, other than those appreciations and honours with loads of medals he was not duly compensated for his great contribution to the nation as a musician and we should be remorseful for that. Baig Master’s life was an example for others who run behind money by selling meaningless classless songs. His golden voice exploited to its maximum to enhance the atmosphere of social events yester year and music lovers too not showing any fatigue in relishing them.

Apart from religiously related songs his voice came alive in so many other unforgettable music creations, the duets with scores of other eminent artists became legendary songs.

The second film of the Sri Lanakn film industry “Ashokamala” which screened in 1947 was the beginning of Baig master’s playback singing career since then he was simply indispensable.

Two-time Kalasoori Award winner who’s appearance in Independence Day celebrations in 1974 and Non-Aligned Summit was a tribute to this versatile singer.

Although music vultures who steal others property to build up their fortune, fortunately, Baig master’s hard-to-imitate voice was very much immune to these elements and his son’s replay of Goldies without distorting its originality commendable and pleasure to listen.

Master Baig’s musical era was not only rich in creativity but rich in exceptional musicians like him those who had the real passion for the art and its well being above all they had the great wisdom to see the ethical & humane side of the industry.

As his 18th death anniversary marked on 4th November we as music lovers remember the great master with immense pride and gratitude

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