Celebrity politicians might be genuine but they are not the great lawmakers that the country deserves. They are as different as “Chalk and Cheese” when it comes to competing with political leaders.
A few days back after much speculations and veteran Tamil actor Rajnikanth announced his entry into politics. After an electrifying speech at Golden Globe Awards, US chat show mogul Oprah Winfrey hinted at her run in the next Presidential elections.
Contrary to the concept of celebrity joining politics in India, people in the USA are not appreciating the idea of appointing celebrity presidential candidates. After garnering a massive response to Oprah’s polished speech, numerous media portals seem to have gone in rounds for deriving a conclusion on people’s obsession with celebs partaking in politics. However, putting all the speculations to rest saying US president Donald Trump stated that being a world icon does not suffice for being making an advent into politics since he/she has not served the nation in a political capacity and does not hold any experience thereof.
This is a time when both India and USA are facing political unrest. Albeit both the countries have a similar ideology with right-wing governing bodies, who have tabled policies favouring the affluent community and are encouraging the uprise of reverent extremist groups, both the leaders of supreme democracies are ‘as alike as two peas in the pod’ for creating a wave for their fame.
While Donald Trump became famous through his show “The Apprentice”, Indian Prime Minister is a celebrity in a way that is one-of-his-kind. Sporting his dynamic personality, he is a self-made person who went onto become the chief minister of Gujarat and purported “Gujarat model”.
Major opposition parties in both the countries have lost their corporate fundings due to which now they cannot stimulate their leaders to voice their opinion and protest against right-wing parties. Much to our dismay major media firms are operated by corporate funds which support a right-wing government who in exchange provide favourable policies. Therefore, the coverage of protests and press conferences held by opposition parties are limited.
Some news networks are more after criticizing the opposition rather than focusing on governing bodies. Hence, it becomes difficult for any individual who has had an extensive experience in politics to become a national face and dare supreme leaders like Narendra Modi and Donald Trump. In this case, it becomes imperative for a person to have obtainable wealth and crowd-pleasing and enigmatic persona, similar to legendary actor Rajnikanth and talk show host Oprah Winfrey to become national leaders.
Earlier, we have had many popular faces in politics with an equitable amount of success. Nonetheless, they cannot be elected in this millennial era, for the simple reason that the populace is so awed by their striking personalities, they feel to see their actual character, along with their socio-political ideologies.
They portray a fictitious character on the TV screen. We often blur the lines between who they really are and prototype them as a Saviour, a hero, a doting father, a social activist, etc. They are hence successful in creating their strong impression in the people’s minds that even big scam revelations cannot deter their image.
In 1991-1996, former Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha was accused of misusing her office. Properties equivalent to Rs. 255 crores were deposited in proxy bank accounts. Similarly, in 1997, 800 kg (1,800 lb) silver, 28 kg (62 lb) gold, 750 pairs of shoes, 10,500 sarees, 91 watches and valuables were seized from her Poes garden residence. Despite this, the people of Tamil Nadu elected her as the chief minister.
Celebrity politicians might be genuine but they are not great lawmakers the country deserves. They are as different as “Chalk and Cheese” when it comes to competing with political leaders. There are many people out there who are working in the interest of the common public, they have spent many years for the betterment of the society and also have a better understanding at grass root level and to draft policies which will favour our economy and society.
Celebrities are great vocals and the fame that they garner by saying sugar-coated words which are seasoned with unparalleled compassion pose them as national icons. What is more critical to be understood that the policies that they advocate may not be deemed fit by a larger sect of the country. Nonetheless, the question that will the celebrities change their ideologies once they enter into politics still stands.
In spite of this, celebrities do have a vital role to play in the national politics. There is a new wave in Indian politics with the entry of young politicians like Jignesh Mevani, Agatha Sangma, Sachin Pilot who have deep political values, liberty and encouraging many young faces in India to join politics.
They seem to work more for the upliftment and betterment of the less equipped section of the society. Celebrities have a role to play by endorsing this young leader for raising funds to contest their elections, to bring out what is wrong with the system and inspire citizens of India to fix the system.
In this millennial era, we must learn from our past mistakes of being influenced by a celebrity who entertain us and distract us from actual happenings and sufferings of our people.
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