Yesterday, as I was on my way to work, I observed that the roads were teeming with posters, banners and hoardings welcoming Mr. Vijayakanth (a frontline hero in the Tamil cine industry). The banners read “varungaala mudhalvare varuga varuga” (We welcome you, our future Chief Minister). This ostentation was present for more than 10 kilometres, and at intervals of no more than 50 metres!
Surely the organisers must have spent quite a lot. But for what purpose? The money employed for this should have easily nourished a thousand gourmands for a year! And all this when Mr. Vijayakanth (or Captain, as he is known generally) hasn’t even formed a party yet!
The other thought that springs up is about the credentials of the wannabe CM. I don’t doubt his past – I’m giving him a carte blanche; but what about the future? Other than the obvious reason that there is a lot of money to be minted from politics, why does Captain aspire for the top post? The one answer we often hear from wannabes is that those already in politics are no good. So what? Is that a sufficient enough reason for one’s foray?
It is the bane of Tamil Nadu that the CV of most frontline politicians indicate a prolonged brush with filmdom. Whereas we need charismatic politicians, charisma shouldn’t be the only criterion. We need men of action – leaders who can get things done. For example, how convincingly would Mr. Vijayakanth’s replies be to questions on poverty eradication, ridding of unemployment, ensuring proper irrigation, state budgetary deficit, industrialisation and the like?
Even as I write this, I am searching for the answer to “why should anyone vote for him?” But people will vote for him. The masses assume that the real is only an extension of the reel. One smile, one sweep of the hand and one promise to threaten the rain god into submission would win the applause and the approval of the poor, the hungry and the deprived – parched skins and parched throats, what else can they do?
Despite the great hype given to them, elections in India are such a farce – those who don’t vote don’t care; and those who vote are never cared for. NDTV has ensured that even elections aren’t a day of rest for India’s coverage-hungry celebrities. When they aren’t busy shooting in Switzerland or Paris (or when they aren’t shooting blackbucks), the Khans and Kapoors of this world appear on screen extolling the virtues of Indian democracy!
I’m not sure if Captain has the panacea to the problems of Tamil Nadu, but I am extremely sceptical about what he can achieve. As Michael Corleone tells Kay Adams in The Godfather, “… I don’t trust society to protect us, I have no intention of placing my fate in the hands of men whose only qualification is that they managed to con a block of people to vote for them…” Mario Puzo is a genius, what say?
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