Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reference to the magnum opus ‘Bahubali’ and its character ‘Katappa’ at his election meeting in Mau on Monday pitchforked the question —’Katappa ne bahubali ko kyun maara (Why did Katappa kill Bahubali?)’ — on the poll scenario of Uttar Pradesh.
“There was a movie called Bahubali. Katappa, a character in the film, destroyed everything of Bahubali. This man with a stick (referring to BJP’s ally Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party’s election symbol) has this power. This stick is sufficient. This is the stick of law and will show its power on March 11,” said Modi addressing a poll rally in Mau on Monday.
Modi’s reference was not out of context. Gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari is contesting the 2017 assembly election from Mau assembly seat on the BSP ticket. Modi had referred to the law and order situation and said the state jails provided the best of facilities to the criminals lodged there.
The PM’s reference to Bahubali and Katappa has already set tongues wagging. Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pramod Tiwari was quick to react. Tiwari called Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah ‘Maha Bali’ for ‘speaking ill’ about UP and said the duo of ‘Maha Balis’ was targeting UP because the Congress-SP alliance had stopped the BJP’s victory march here.
This is not the first time that Modi has referred to a feature film to make his point. The PM had earlier targeted the Congress for coming out with a slogan of ‘27 saal UP behaal’ that included SP’s rule and later deciding to join hands with the SP. “But what happened? Aa Gale Lag Ja,” was the PM’s observation in reference to the Hindi film ‘Aa Gale Lag Jaa’ directed by Manmohan Desai and alluding to the coming together of the two parties.
Bollywood is providing sufficient fodder to boost the poll campaigns of other political parties as well.
At an election rally in Rae Bareli on February 17, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had called PM’s tenure as a retrograde film journey from SRK’s Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayange (DLDJ) to Gabbar of Sholay ‘known for loot of people’s money’ to make his point about ‘achhe din’ and demonetisation. Rahul Gandhi had responded to Modi’s ‘Aa Gale Lag Jaa’ comment on the Congress-SP coalition.
At an election rally in Amethi later, Rahul had referred to Hindi film Dhool ka Phool’s song ‘Tu na Hindu banega, na Musalman banege- insaan ki aulad hai insaan banega” to target the PM for ‘spreading hatred’ in his poll campaign in the state.
Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s wife and Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav too had used Hindi film Lawaris’s number ‘Mere angne main tumhara kya kaam hai’ to target Modi obviously to convey that he was an outsider and had no business in the state. Besides politicians, film actors too have coined their own slogans and used film songs during their campaign. Actress-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan, SP’s Rajya Sabha MP, coined: “No confusion, no mistake, only cycle, only Akhilesh” while addressing her poll rallies in favour of SP candidates in Agra.
Film actress Zeenat Aman, who campaigned for BSP candidate from Chhata assembly constituency of Aligarh, Manoj Pathak quoted the Qurbani film song “Laila main Laila--- har koi chahe mujhse milna akela” to make her point. After uttering these lines, Zeenat Aman said she was in Aligarh not to meet anybody but to campaign for the BSP candidate.