Thursday, April 9, 2009
Indian Election 2009 - Starring the Indian film Industry!
Indian politics have always attracted celebrities. Over the years there have been many actors from Bollywood, Tollywood, and Kollywood…… etc who have turned to politics and some were even successful politicians. Having the ability to draw audiences, crowds and votes by their charisma, many actors enjoy the power they have with people beyond the silver screen and have moved into political careers.
The film actors started getting involved on a smaller level initially by becoming the non elected Rajya Sabha members like Pritvi Raj Kapoor, Sunil Dutt, Nargis Dutt, Dilip Kumar, Vaijantimala Bali, Rajesh Khanna, Hema Malini, Vinod Khanna, Shabna Azmi, Jaya Bachchan, and others served in Rajya Sabha.
Later the film actors in national and regional languages of India who had mass appeal were approached by politicians to campaign for respective parties or candidates. The people came in larger numbers to hear a politician speak when film stars accompanied him in the election meetings!
Manoj Kumar,Amitabh Bachchan , Shatrughan Sinha, Raj Babbar, Hema Malini, Dharmender, Vinod Khanna, Suresh Oberoi, Rajesh Khanna, Govinda, Poonam Dhillon, Padmini Kolhapure, Jaya Prada, Chunkey Pandey, Juhi Chawla, Nagma, Nafisa Ali, Mahima Chaudhari, Sanjay Dutt…… have campaigned/campaigning on the national level.
Bhupen Hazarika, Satabdi Chatterjee, Kumar Bangarappa,Vishnu Vardhan, Kamal Hassan, Anant Nag, Murli Mohan, Rajendra Prasad, N. Balakrishna, Junior NTR, Pavan Kalyan, Naga Babu, Mahesh Babu, Rajasekhar, Jeevitha, Jayasudha, Vijaya Shanti….. have been campaigning in the respective states or regional levels.
After superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s venturing into national politics by standing in the election as a congress party candidate and winning the constituency, many actors immediately followed suit. Though Amitabh Bachchan later retraced back into acting after quitting politics.
Shatrugan Sinha, Vinod Khanna , Jaya prada , Govinda, Nafisa Ali, Raj Babbar, Shekar Suman, and others have contested or contesting as political candidates. Sanjay Dutt also tried contesting but unfortunately was denied candidacy.
In the past, south Indian film stars have had better success as politicians. There have been successful politicians and even chief ministers in Tamilnadu and Andra Pradesh. M. G. Ramachandran, Janaki, Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu; NTR and now Cheeranjivi in Andra Pradesh.
Indian film celebrities this year have risen with enthusiasm it seems to bring a better change in politics inspired by heavy involvement of Hollywood celebrities for Obama in Election 2008 in USA. Hollywood celebrities like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ed Norton, Samuel L. Jackson, Beyonce, Kal Penn…… had actively campaigned for Obama/Biden ticket. Though film celebrity's involvement in politics is not new in the USA too. President Ronald Reagan and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vouch for this fact.
Interesting though Kal Penn aka Kalpen Suresh Modi, in some of the Indian celebrities pattern switched into a political career by joining the White House Office as Public Liaison Officer.
But this year Indian film industry has contributed to the election in other ways besides standing for elections or campaigning for various parties. Bollywood actor Aamir Khan launched a film to promote the voter awareness campaign. The campaign theme "Sacche ko chune, acche ko chune" also carries the message telling the voters not only to cast their vote, but realize the importance of their vote.
Also an ad campaign by the Election Commission, "Pappu can't Vote", parodying a popular song “papu cant dance sala” from film directed by Aamir Khan, makes a pun on the trendy youth who abstain from voting is drawing youth into the election 2009.
Another Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan is similarly appealing for involvement of youth in this election, and released a video urging the young voters to go out and vote.
Yes, film industry and politics have been connected since long but there was a time when entertainers, actors, celebrities knew their place, but later they started influencing the markets and endorsing products, next they influenced voters and endorsed politicians and now some have moved onto become the leaders and executors in politics!