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The election season is on and the first phase of pollings has already begun. One thing this season noteworthy is B'wood's participation in the polls. Madhur Bhandarkar writes.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2009 22:04 IST
Madhur Bhandarkar column
Madhur Bhandarkar column
Hindustan Times

The election season is on and the first phase of pollings has already begun. One thing that is very noteworthy this season is the Bollywood participation in the elections.

The Indian film industry has always been a frontrunner whenever there has been a need to stand up for a social cause. Cinema is the integrator of other platforms of art and crafts, culture, social orientation etc. Common people have always united in the name of cinema and their screen idols.

Actors who may not be associated with any particular party have proven to be deserving candidates. Stars are actively participating and working hand in hand with NGOs and general public and in trying to create an awareness about voting. The on-screen patriotism is now spilling out of the screen.

In earlier days, it was not a very common sight to see film industry people actually getting involved with the workings of the political world. Their association with politics would be restricted to social hob-nobbing with leaders and so on. But today, the scenario has gone through a sea change. New-age Bollywood stars do not shy away from being responsible citizens and conscientious public figures for their audience who, in many ways, take their icons very seriously.

The film industry is becoming a major participant by jumping on to the political bandwagon to become a part of a creative nation-building process rather than being a bystander and judgemental about the politics of the country.

This is being caused because of the vacuum created by people’s search for alternative. There have been success stories of actors in politics and people returning them to power again and again — not just because of their star power but because they were truly good at what they had set out to achieve in the sphere of public service.

Politics has always been enamoured of film stars who bring with them star quality and a touch of intrigue, and if the film industry can cross the border from being just the glamour quotient in the biggest democratic exercise, it would be a killer combination for a better tomorrow, a better India.

If Bollywood contributes even a fraction in getting a population of tens of millions to come out and vote, it will be worth all the filmi efforts.

First Published: Apr 21, 2009 20:47 IST