Asia Opinion

Celebrity Influence strong in 2019 Indian General Elections

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We all love celebs. They all look perfect, walk perfect and talk perfect. They attract us like magnets, but what attracts them? Well, Politics (or Power) is one thing that is extremely hard to ignore for these celebs. The celeb-world in India is intrinsically intertwined with politics, and as one can imagine the benefits are mutual and terms, highly negotiable!

Celebs joining politics is not a new trend. Film Celebrities have been participating in Indian politics since the Nehru era. The earliest notable film personality to enter into politics was Prithviraj Kapoor who entered the parliament as a nominated member.

2019 Indian General Elections is no different

All political parties have vied to make stars enter the political arena to attract the attention of voters. Whether movie stars, professional athletes, musicians or reality television stars, all have been welcomed during this 2019 General Elections. It was seen that the political parties deliberately did not declare nominations for a lot of seats in various constituencies till the very end and both voters and media were left to speculate. It seems that their sudden arrival was to leverage the excitement in the minds of voters.

Who is joining who?

2019 Indian General Elections is seeing an army of celebrities making their debut in politics. It is almost like a competition among the political parties to have the most popular celebrity by their side. Some of BJP’s high-profile debutants are Cricketer Gautam Gambhir, Singer Hans Raj Hans, Celebrity hair-stylist Jawed Habib, Bhojpuri Actor Nirahua and Bollywood Actor Sunny Deol.

On the other hand, Actor Urmila Matondkar and Boxer Vijender Singh Beniwal will be fighting the election on a Congress seat.

The celebs joining politics is particularly driven by the number of followers on their social media accounts and the influencing power they exert on the people of the country. Celebs are particularly helpful to political parties in building trust and credibility with the youth.

Can they serve the people?

Generally, the political parties rely heavily on their experienced and established faces. To cater to the regional requirements, they dig out certain local names to suit their caste calculations and cash out on controversial candidates wherever required. Actor Sunny Deol contesting from Gurdaspur, Punjab and Urmila Matondkar from North Mumbai is an example of how both the political parties are trying to cancel out the regional politics.

These celebs can be seen delivering their political pitches with their high- voltage power-packed dialogue delivery. Attracting people in rallies and winning an election is one thing but can these celebrities be a real representative of the people in the office? It is hard to say if people who have already achieved fame and success in their first innings will be hungry enough to deliver in their second innings.

Final Verdict

One cannot deny that there are doubts whether such celebrity candidates might be able to address the concerns of voters once elected. There are cases when celebrities such as Smriti Irani, Shatrughan Sinha, Hema Malini, Kirron Kher etc. performed well on the polls and won by big margins. However, their real exam starts after the election. It has been seen that some of these top voted celebrities fail to take an active interest in the parliamentary debates; many even fail to show up as well.

To find the answers if these celeb-turned-politicians can be the real heroes, we have to do nothing but wait till 23rd May 2019 and even more to see if they do what they promise.

Hopefully, I will catch you soon with the results!

 

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