Two things that never go out of season in the repartee circuits are bollywood and politics. Love them or hate them these two topics somehow always manage to wriggle into the most crucial to most casual conversations in everyday life. The roaring affair between the two has been long standing and going strong. Bollywood and politics can't seem to do without each other. Besides, politics has been the fodder for Bollywood for a long time. Films like Garam Hawa, Sutradhar, Kissa Kursi Ka, Aaj ka MLA to the recent Nayak, Rajneeti, Aarakshan, Youngistaan, etc. have politics running through their veins.
Politics has also lured actors into its labyrinth since decades. Political parties have lusted after actors and their popularity.
For starters, a film personality comes with an already established base of followers, which could turn into a vote bank. Also the time invested in popularizing any other candidate is of significant proportions. Bollywood personalities are starry and have a hypnotic effect on the common public. The public might perceive that because of the charm these personalities might get the desired change into effect. It can also be speculated that the parties might even be banking on the stars' popularity and inexperience in politics to just be poster puppets for them. Some stars have proved this speculation otherwise and gone on to become successful politicians. While some have joined politics and scrammed in the opposite direction at the first chance they got, once they realized that they were definitely not a match made in heaven.
Apart from the South where most actor turned politicians have been successful, Bollywood has seen a different graph. Actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Govinda, Sanjay Dutt among others joined politics but got out of it as soon as they saw an exit. Disinterest, controversies and at times inability to fulfill the duties as an elected member caused them to leave politics. The parties these stars represented during their respective years were glad to slurp up the votes they got. However, Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan, Shatrugan Sinha, Raj Babbar have been going steady in their political careers. Politics doesn't seem to faze them. Going by the recent controversies, it is hard not to speculate whether these actor turned politicians are even remotely in touch with the ground realities. The recent comment of Raj Babbar that a full meal is available for 12 Rs. or the incident where Hema Malini arrived five hours late for her own campaign stirs our suspicion.
The reasons why politicians want Bollywood actors are plenty. But why are actors interested in politics? Is it the want to serve people or just another brand endorsement gimmick? Or have political parties become so lazy that instead of their work garnering votes they are banking on the superficial popularity of stars?
The 2014 election season has kicked off with Bollywood actors like Gul Panag, Moon Moon Sen and Paresh Rawal jumping onto the political bandwagon. But all we can do is await election results to know the fate of these political newbies.