Current MPs

Lights, Camera and Elections?



The general elections are not very far off and various political parties in the country are running from pillar to post, trying to paint a hunky-dory picture of the country under their governance. However, when their oratory and deceptive skills run dry, they turn to Tinsel town to attract paparazzi, thus effectively piquing the interest of their voters.

Celebrities transitioning to politics have existed in India ever since democracy did and India’s reverence for its film community makes it that much easier for the stars to contest elections. When they have a fan following that hangs on to their every word, considering them holy, the votes will come pouring in. Yet, what could the inside story possibly be?

Politics is a precarious arena, not much unlike the glamour world, yet, it demands undertaking rather than entertainment. Are the big stars really interested in getting down to the dirty work to add “value” to society? The endless number of celebrity turned politicians set an example that insinuates otherwise.

Take the one-name Bollywood humour star, Govinda, for instance. He contested the Mumbai 2004 elections, and his reputation among his followers led him to the MP echelon, beating the five time sitting MP by a whopping 50,000 votes. Yet, Govinda’s seat was almost always vacant during house sessions and the actor has also been criticized for being inaccessible to his people during the Mumbai floods. If he was not capable of committing his time to the welfare of the country, then what prompted him to contest?

The cricket superstar, Sachin Tedulkar, too has taken a political seating of late. The legend left a lot of people surprised when he accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination suggested by the president. However, he made it clear that cricket was his top-notch priority when he chose to play in the IPL rather than take the customary oath during the budget session, effectively sidelining his role as a politician.

Is a political stand just another plutocratic move for these celebrities? Their public prominence and communication skills play to their benefit. For a person who has spent his entire life mastering the art of deception, convincing a nation to vote him into power does not require much.  Moreover, when the limelight in glitz town begins to dim, politics can be an alternative to keeping the cameras focused on them! Celebrity status coupled with political power also indicates greater media coverage and more big green bucks too!

The party stands to gain from celebrity endorsement as well. Having an already widely speculated name allied with the party name would guarantee a larger number of votes, thanks to the celebrity backing.

The celebrities exist to influence the masses, whether positively or negatively depending on the skeletons that the media shall uncover from their cupboards. Yet, the more intriguing question that brews here is, why are people vulnerable to their impulsive claims?

Does their heroic performance in movies dupe them into believing that they can replicate the same in reality? Are they tricked into considering that once in power, these celebrities shall rid them of all their woes and construct an idealist government and country? Whatever it is, the big stars seem to have taken for granted a political career as an alternative backing to their existing careers.

People should not be voted into power depending on the popularity and familiarity of their names. Politics is bigger than just fancy media coverage and recognition. A politician is responsible for running a country and giving to the people everything that they deserve. It cannot be about personal gain or heredity.

Yes, every person, regardless of his profession, has the liberty to set foot into politics. However, the country needs to use its discretion while handing over the reins of governance. Ruling a country in reality is much more demanding and challenging as compared to doing the same on screen. So next time, when a B Town member is up on the election polls, weigh out the pros and cons before voting him in impetuously. Don’t get the reel person influence the image of the real person.


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