Politics: A polarising issue between Kollywood and Bollywood

By Bhavya Srivastava

Superstar Rajinikanth’s entry into politics holds water. Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan wished him good luck too. Further, the experience of Amitabh Bachchan is a lesson for all who have aspirations to seek entry into politics. He is a superstar, close friend of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and also an MP from his town. However, the world is divided into north and south. And that has created a huge difference for the masses and classes. The old game of politics always needs fresh entrants to make the ball roll. People have witnessed a lot; from home-made to self-made personalities and when they get bored, a fantasy can act as the trigger of the time. Ironically, film stars are a fantastical reality. They know how to mesmerise people. We have seen many south Indian actors become the heartthrob of politics and prove their mettle in the war field of politics. But why is there a clear verdict between Bollywood and Kollywood, where one refrains from political involvement and the other uses the best asset of his cinematic aura to become a leader of masses in the political constituency?

Superimposing politics on Kollywood

From M.G. Ramachandran to Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha, Vijayakanth to Karthik, Napoleon to Ramya and semi-successful Khusboo to Nagma, all of them have proved that politics is not beyond the scope of the artistic boundary. They play the game with the same zeal when they act and promise a new land of fulfilment. They scream and fight for the right on the screen and do the same with the real masses and subsequently, become a political leader. There may be many psychological studies and theories about their transformation from reel to real. However, one thing is clear; their acts make them a messiah of good causes and issues. Nonetheless, when an actor enters the arena of politics, the audience senses reality.

Why is Bollywood distant from politics?

Bollywood is shy, or more appropriately, has learned from its scars. Here, politics is a word which only holds one meaning: to distance relations. The imaginary world of fiction and drama only lives on the fallacy of fans, followers, good reviews, media gossips, and how to make more money by selling your skills multi-dimensionally. Though there are movies which exhibit social concerns and directly hit the policy paradigm, a UN ambassador never thinks largely about the nearby intricacies of his society. The safe mode of doing politics drags them to a bitter end. From Amitabh to Dharmendra, Shatrughan to Vinod Khanna, Sanjay Dutt to Hemamalini, all have tasted politics but have never created a real massive impact on the ground. The real reason is they never felt comfortable to interact with the masses as a common man and feel alienated amidst the policymakers.

Similarities between cinema and politics

Films are distant realities and relate to imagination incorporating the best relevant social factors and ideas. They attract all types of talented people who are guided by passion and excellence. There is no shortcut to success. The same applies to politics. It also attracts all types of people with a social ideal to serve the masses with a noble whistle. The two fields invite all who have something to offer passionately. However, with the entry of power and fame, the behaviour of people in both the fields changes. The show-off of political creatures and film fraternity make them inaccessible to the masses. This makes them god of their own world.

Bollywood often aims to produce relevant movies to show the real face of society. Do Beegha Jameen and Mother India are not just movies but are documents of Indian realities. Same happens in Kollywood; it plays around with issues of injustice, inhumanity and corrupt practices with an unseen passion in its movies. From Sathi Leelavthi to SarvadhikariNaykan to PushpakUnnal Mudiyum Thambi to Arram, all involved the society significantly. This gives the Kollywood industry an edge to perform well as a social agent.

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