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With Farhan Akhtar’s Oops Moment It’s Time For Stars To Stop Commenting On Politics

Subhash K . Jha

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Farhan Akhtar

What   got  into the  usually-dignified Farhan  Akhtar when some time ago  he decided to urge the people  of  Bhopal to vote a week after the Lok Sabha  elections in  the  city were  over? Firstly, why must Farhan  become a vote catcher?And why Bhopal, why not Nasik, Patna or Kanpur?

And then  of course  the grand goof-up which  has the world  sniggering  at the actor, musician and  director.I am not very sure  he  is still a director since he  hasn’t directed a film  in the past years. Maybe he’s  joined Mahesh  Bhatt and Gulzar as directors who are busy elsewhere. But I am sure Farhan  is not very politically savvy  citizen. I can live with that, if he can.Why not  use the social media to  just post  pictures with  the  loved ones ? Why go where  you are  not  equipped  to travel?

Given how  often  Bollywood’s brigade ends  up making  erroneous  comments on politics,  should they be banned from talking  on political topics at all?

Other than a Shabana Azmi , Javed Akhtar , or Shatrughan Sinha our film personalities are atrociously ignorant  on  political matters. Their  understanding  of  the country’s politics is governed more by  self-interest than dispassionate intellect. Most abysmal of all is their lack of  basic  knowledge  on the politics  of  the  country.

 I am  not saying that’s a bad thing. To  not have the knowledge on a  particular  subject  is  not an offence.  To PRETEND  to know  is  completely wrong. Most actors ,even  those with activist  leanings,  tend to be  so cut  off from  reality, they  end up inventing their  own version  of  reality based  on  which  political figure they last fraternized with  or which neta tweeted  in  praise of their performance.

 Hence when Aamir  Khan said  that his wife felt insecure about their children’s future in India, he probably thought  it was  a clever deflection to  impute  the  insecurity of the Indian Muslim on  the maternal  figure   thereby  playing on the Indian sentiment of maa bhakti. Little did he know  the comment  would  lead to a real-life Dangal  in  the political jungle.

 Kamal Haasan,  one of the most intellectually evolved minds in the entertainment  business,  regularly   feeds  on  the Indian  public’s  hunger for provocation and  debate. He feels , by  making  provocative statements (the  first  Indian terrorist was a  Hindu, etc) he is  merely playing up the image  of  the  Fearless Entertainer.

But  image  of  the entertainer  as  an indiscreet  political  animal  is growing abundant.  Actors  should just not comment  on politics even when  instigated  into doing so.As for playing political figures , when they do they should make sure they maintain and  preserve the dignity  of the  politician they play.

 I am  sure Vivek  Oberoi will agree with that.

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