Visually impaired musician Comagan passes away


M.J.C. Comagan, a visually impaired singer and founder of the Raaga Priya orchestra, died here in the city on Thursday. He was 48 and is survived by his wife and two children.

Comagan and his orchestra, whose members were visually impaired as well, had featured in the hugely popular Tamil song Ovvoru Pookalume in director Cheran’s 2004 film Autograph. The song was picturised on the Raaga Priya orchestra, with actor Sneha singing along.

Cheran, in a tweet, said that Mr. Comagan was someone who instilled belief and confidence through his voice and mind.

“For the 25 members of his troupe and their families, he was their eyes. My heart is shattered after hearing about his demise,” he said.

Raaga Priya, which was started in 1991 by Comagan with nine members, soon grew to a 25-member orchestra. In 1999, they performed for 16 hours non-stop with 183 songs and entered the Limca Book of World Records. Over the years, the troupe has performed over 3,000 light music shows as well as for fundraising events, and was also given the Tamil Nadu State Award in 2006.

Comagan has also done small roles in the films Kanukkulle and Sura. He had also composed music for a Tamil film Muthal Muthalai in 2007.

Disability Rights Activist and TARATDAC secretary S. Namburajan said that Comagan was also a part of the first Tamil Nadu Welfare Board for the disabled that was set up in 2008. “He was always keen on highlighting issues faced by persons with disabilities, the visually impaired in particular. Raaga Priya was an extremely unique initiative for the upliftment of blind musicians,” he said.

A family member said that the singer was hospitalised around 12 days ago and passed away at around 1 a.m. on Thursday. “While the troupe was actively performing before the COVID-19 pandemic, over the last one year they have all been conducting online classes. Comagan too was taking vocal and instrumental classes,” she said.

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