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Why filmstars are 'soft targets' for politicians?
What connects Dilip Kumar, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan? Apart from being great actors and multiple Filmfare award winners, they have also been made soft targets by the politicians in order to garner political mileage
IT IS often seen that politicians in our country use celebrities in order to score a political point over the opposition. Now a lot of political parties rope in film stars in order to stand for elections as Members of Parliament or at least to be a part of the publicity campaign just before the elections. Such is the power of the celebrities, that they are sometimes approached by several political parties in order to just lend their support verbally before the elections.

But there are some actors who remain indifferent to the world of politics and concentrate on their acting career. So if a political party can not rope in an actor or an actress in its support, it chooses to go against them in order to gain political mileage. Picture this, a journalist is trying to make a mark and he goes on doing his job diligently but, no one really cares what he writes. Then he realises that unless he comes up with a scandalous story he is not going to garner much attention. The same is the case with a political party. It may take years to establish a new political party, especially in a zone where they are several others fighting for the top spot. In order to do this, the party has to come up with something scandalous in order to gain public attention. A similar game is being played by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in Mumbai.

Be it a frank, Amitabh and outspoken Jaya Bachchan or even the normally reticent Aamir Khan, all have been at the receiving end of the outburst of political parties at some point of time. The ongoing squabble between the Bachchans and Raj Thackeray was started by Thackeray in one of his speeches, where he had ridiculed Amitabh Bachchan for saying publicly that, he is a Ganga kinaare waala chora. Amitabh since then has often gone on to say that Uttar Pradesh is his janam bhoomi and Maharashtra is his karma bhoomi. It is Mumbai that has given him everything and he has spent more than forty years here but, Raj Thackeray’s verbal volleys haven’t backed off.

Aamir Khan’s Fanaa had to bear the brunt in Gujarat for supporting the Narmada Bachao Andolan. His film was not allowed to release in Gujarat and Yashraj films had incurred huge losses. It is rumoured that Aamir had offered a part of his film fee as reimbursement of the losses incurred in Gujarat because of him. Shahrukh Khan has recently been targeted by Shiv Sena for being a ‘Diliwalla’ whereas, Salman Khan was earlier reprimanded by a political group for celebrating Ganpati at Lalbaug. The above cases may seem really trivial to us but, are matters of great weightage to political parties.

Film stars are more often in the news than any other professional class in India and hence, politicians use, misuse or abuse the film stars in order to get publicity. Thus, political parties are creating a regional bias amongst the people by using the actors as scape goats in order to attract attention. The British may have left, but their ’divide and rule’ policy is still followed by almost all the political parties in India.

Film stars are larger than life figures and they will continue to remain in the public eye. Hence, they are the easiest targets for the politicians who rake up inflammatory issues just in order to feature on prime time news. The sad part is that politicians don’t work for the public good to get publicity and accolades for it. They would rather use film actors in order to attract attention and hype and the painful part is that we let them get away with it.

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In This Article
aamir khan
(364 Articles)
amitabh bachchan
(519 Articles)
jaya bachchan
(56 Articles)
raj thackeray
(251 Articles)
salman khan
(315 Articles)

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