From Bollywood Actor To Political Actor: New Faces On The Political Front
The world’s largest democracy is holding elections, and politicians aren’t the only ones leading the political front. This election season, India has witnessed an increase in film and television personas taking part in the political fun. Faces we have all seen in the news recently include Nagma, Hema Malini, Raj Babbar, Chiranjeevi, Smriti Irani, and Rakhi Sawant, to name a few. As these Bollywood stars encroach the border of politics, the key question we must ask is:
Are these stars using their fame as tools of politics and for elaborate beguilement, or rather, are they actually trying to bring legitimate change to the world’s largest democracy?
Recently, we witnessed BJP draw in Smriti Irani to the world of politics. Rahul Gandhi has contested from Amethi since 2009, but now BJP has appointed 38-year-old television actress Smriti Irani to rival Rahul Gandhi at Amethi. The actress claims the son of Sonia Gandhi won’t be a challenge and that she thinks she can take him on. Why did BJP select Ms. Irani to take on their toughest rival? Is her fame the reason for selection, and the BJP is tooling her for a win, or is she campaigning to bring about change she wants to see? This is a tough question to answer this election season with the rapid increase in celebrities.
On the other side of this new phenomenon is the actors’ takes on politics. Recently, Kannada actress Ramya was seen criticizing BJP’s Narendra Modi. This isn’t the first time she has criticized him. She claims she was once a follower of Modi, but after travelling to Ahmedabad, she realized that Modi had not really done enough for the people of Gujarat. This is just one other scenario. With someone like Ramya, who is a popular film star, with more than 227K followers on Twitter, we see an instance of a popular persona using their fame to criticize a political figure. Again, the question we must ask is whether these celebrities are trying to actually create change for India, or if they are using their fame as tools.
But this new move on the political front doesn’t have to be bad. As Rakhi Sawant contests from Mumbai, she has launched a new party with the intent to increase women’s rights in India. She expresses a personal connection to the pain and suffering of the women of India, and her cause is legitimate. Similarly, we have all seen the many moves by Aamir Khan to help bring attention to many social and political issues in India. This new trend may have its benefits.
The main point to get across here is that we, as Indians, are facing a turning point in the functioning of our country. The worlds largest democracy has remained the world’s most corrupt democracy, but a change can happen during this election season. With the new rise in actors and actresses, there is chance for real change, but there is also the risk of using fame as a tool of politics to only further entrench corruption. We must keep this in mind this election season. And all we can do at this point is wait and watch the drama unfold across this political stage.
Tell us your opinion below, what are the actors and actresses’ motives in running for office? Is it good?[Image source: The News Tribe]