Bollywood and politics have coincided at large due to its immense influence in India. Being a democracy with hundreds of political parties forming alliances or contesting independently, there has been a new mode of tapping, courtesy the propaganda theory. We’re aware of the films coming out with political agendas, but this time celebs have also been roped in to do the needful. Be it urging to vote or accepting money in exchange for tweets, here’s a rundown of ten times Bollywood brushed against politics ahead of this year’s Lok Sabha Elections.
Salman Khan’s Campaign Fiasco
Earlier it was reported that Madhya Pradesh Congress requested the actor to campaign for the party in Indore. However, clearing the air, the actor took to his social media and announced that he won’t be campaigning for any party. “Contrary to the rumours I am not contesting elections nor campaigning for any political party,” the tweet read.
PM Narendra Modi requesting B-town to urge their fans to vote
Bollywood actors such as Ranveer Singh, Karan Johar, Akshay Kumar and Ayushmann Khurrana, on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s behest, have urged people to cast their vote in the upcoming Lok Sabha Election 2019.
Indirectly quoting films like Ayushmann’s “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” and Akshay’s “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha”, Modi had tweeted: “Dear Akshay Kumar, Bhumi Pednekar and Ayushmann Khurrana, The power of a vote is immense and we all need to improve awareness on its importance. Thoda ‘Dum Lagaiye’ aur voting ko ‘Ek Superhit Katha’ banaiye.”
Cobrapost Sting Operation
Investigative website Cobrapost had alleged that several celebrities obliged to promote political agendas of particular parties on social media for a price. The investigative website under the ‘operation karaoke’ posed as a made up PR agency and conducted a sting operation. The names that surfaced to agree in this ‘job’ were Vivek Oberoi, Sonu Sood, Amisha Patel, Tisca Chopra, Shreyas Talpade, Mahima Chaudhry, Jackie Shroff, and Shakti Kapoor to name a few from the entire shocking list. However, there were some, including Vidya Balan, Arshad Warsi, Raza Murad and Saumya Tandon, who refused to do the same at any cost.
2019 opened with the classic propaganda theory of using films to showcase political agendas. Suddenly we say a line-up of back to back releases such as Thackeray, Uri: The Surgical Strike, The Accidental Prime Minister and now Pm Narendra Modi’s biopic which has been preponed to April 5. How far a film can tilt the voting pattern in the upcoming elections is something time will tell.
Actors joining political parties
The list of actors joining political parties has moved beyond sustaining biggies such as Shatrughan Sinha or Jaya Bachchan. Fresh faces include names like Isha Koppikar, Shilpa Shinde, Biswajit Chatterjee, Moushumi Chatterjee, Sona Mohapatra, and Hasin Jahan to name a few. More could be joining this bandwagon soon.
No women in a panel set to discuss Entertainment Industry
In December 2018, an 18-member panel, including celebrities like Akshay Kumar, Karan Johar, Ajay Devgn, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Ritesh Sidhwani and CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi, met PM Modi to discuss how to take the entertainment industry to the next stage. However, the meeting of the delegation came under fire for its exclusion of female representation. Actresses Dia Mirza and Sandhya Mridul took to Twitter and addressed this by asking ‘Where were the women’?
PM Modi meeting Bollywood stars
A couple of months ago, B-town posted a magnum opus selfie which included major names such as Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Karan Johar, Rohit Shetty, Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari, Rajkummar Rao, Vicky Kaushal, Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar, Sidharth Malhotra, producers Ekta Kapoor and Mahaveer Jain.
The lot met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss how the industry can contribute towards “nation building”. This meeting was held after the PM met Bollywood producers and discussed issues faced by the industry, which led to the reduction in GST on film tickets by the government.
National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) in Mumbai
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National Museum of Indian Cinema (NMIC) ay a 19th century heritage bungalow and a modern building in the city. The museum has on display artefacts like vintage cameras, projectors, editing and recording equipment, costumes, photographs and other materials portraying the journey of Indian cinema since its dawn in 1913. Several stalwarts of Bollywood were present at the opening of the museum.
During the event, the Prime Minister quoted a dialogue of the recently released war-film ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ as he asked his audience, “How’s the josh?” The prime minister’s question received applause from the crowd, and a distant but spirited “High Sir” was heard from a few excited members present.
Twitter banter with comedian Kapil Sharma
Followed by the meet at the museum’s inauguration, many celebs shared pictures on their respective social media. PM Modi made sure to reply to most of them. One such banter witnessed on Twitter was with comedian Kapil Sharma.