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Bollywood In Politics, Does It Work?

Kamal Haasan whom I see as a Bollywoodian as much as any other  influential actor in India  has often held radical agnostic  views on  life and politics which he  shared with me over several lengthy stretches  of  conversation.Kamal Haasan is  a man  of ideas. But those radical ideas don’t make  him a mouldable politician. They  just make  him  sound like  a fish put of water. 

Stars in politics is  like chocolate cream in  biryani. The combination doesn’t jell. And still the exodus  of stars  into politics  continues. Each year  the   volume of actors in  politics gets larger.  Now with PM Modi welcoming  Bollywood into his  fraternity  the floodgates are  open forglamour(read: entertainment  industry) to march into  politics(read: corruption).

Of course they  all enter  the murky world of politics  with the  best of  intentions.

I remember  Hema Malini telling me, “I’ve seen  it all. I am no stranger to money and fame.So I am not in this for wealth or a name. I am getting into politics to work among the  grassroot section  of the  people.”

True to her word, the  Dream Girl has transformed  her  constituency  Mathura into a bit of a dream. Good roads,  solid civic amenities , new malls and  cleaner more serviceable  temple facilities. I would rate  Hemaji  among one  of  the  more  accomplished  actors-turned-politicians.

 But the  best actor-politician  has to be  Vinod Khanna. He transformed  his constituency into a  Garden Of Eden. Gurdaspur during Vinod was  a dream come true. Now  it has passed on to Sunny Deol . It remains to be seen whether  ‘Sunny’ days  are  ahead for  the  people  of Gurdaspur. But I  can tell you this. Sunny means well.He is  honest and decent.  But is he a right  fit for politics? Decency  and  honesty  are  more disqualifications than recommendations for politics.

 The  latest to join the  political bandwagon is  my friend  Urmila Matondkar. Her decision to  dirty her pretty feet  in  what  a legendary actor described as  the cesspool of politics, took me  by surprise. But then I thought,  why not?  If Rahul Gandhi can  be though of as a potential prime  minister why can’t Urmila be  at least  a Lok Sabha member?

 For all the  migration from movies to  rajniti that we see these days  I still feel uneasy about the alliance  between the two mutually exclusive  worlds. I  feel actors are  good  orators  in  front of  the camera.  But the lines that they deliver with such (rehearsed) passion  at election campaign must mean more than just a rousing histrionic  performance.

In  the  North , actors have  largely  failed  to  deliver as  politicians. I feel even in the South the  days of iconic star-politicians  like  MGR, NTRand  Jayalalitha are  over. Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth who  announced their induction  into  politics so grandiosely are  today stuck in their own contradictory statements  on life  and politics.

Kamal Haasan doesn’t believe in God. Fortunately or unfortunately , the junta does. They even make Gods  out of actors and politicians. And never mind  if  the Gods turn out to have feet  of clay.

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