Has cine glamour stopped working in South Indian politics? Why is the biggest stars with lakhs of die-hard fans failing to win their own seats, leave alone putting their parties on the path of victory? Have the soft-natured stars not able to compete with the current political parties that deploy money and muscle power with unmatched strength?
Legendary Kamal Haasan losing in the recently held Tamilnadu elections has brought this topic to the fore again.
Cinema and politics go hand in hand in Tamilnadu. MGR, Karunanidhi, and Jayalalithaa… the three chief ministers who ruled the state for decades came from the world of cinema.
Same is the case with Andhra Pradesh. NT Rama Rao, the matinee idol, had created history by storming into power within eight months of launching the Telugu Desam party in 1983. He was one of the most charismatic Chief Ministers of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. Since then several actors had turned MLAs and MPs in Andhra and Telangana states.
But now, the stars are not able to pull off the same magic. Megastar Chiranjeevi had fared better among the recent stars who forayed into politics, as his Praja Rajyam party had grabbed 18 seats. Tamil actor Vijaykanth also made a mark of his own in Tamilnadu. But later, none of the stars who had launched parties succeeded yet.
Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena party has failed to make a mark. Now, Kamal Haasan’s MNM party also drew a blank in the recently concluded polls. The sad part is both Pawan Kalyan and Kamal Haasan, one of the most popular stars in India, could not win their seats in their maiden attempt.
Political analysts observe that money matters in today’s politics. Money is a major factor. All political parties hire poll strategists paying crores of paycheck to them, invest in ‘friendly media’ outlets or launch channels of their own, provide all facilities to party men that require crores of money, and also if necessary give money to voters on the polling day in some constituencies.
Plus, years of hard work and planning also matter the most. There are other important factors to consider as well. Movie stars like Kamal Haasan and Pawan Kalyan are lacking them. Even though they have noble intentions to change politics, they are no match for today’s highly ruthless traditional political outfits.
We have to see how Vijay, who is also pursuing political ambitions, would fare in the coming years.