Vanity, thy name is politician. As Bihar goes to vote in the first phase, a video has gone viral which shows LJP leader Chirag Paswan directing his team while shooting a clip in front of a portrait of his father, the late Ram Vilas Paswan. This was just before he got his head tonsured and acquired a scrubbed-to-the-bone look. In the clip, Chirag’s overweening concern about his appearance and the right camera angle is more than that of a fastidious politician. "Arre bhai, texture alag hota hai har kisi ke baal ka...," Chirag is heard telling someone in the crew, as he adjusts his mane with a flourish.
More focused on his get-up and less on the political message, predictably, the lines got botched up.
"Azadi ke 75 saal baad bhi Bihar ko pichhda pradesh kaha jaata hai..’’ he starts with aplomb but gets derailed, possibly distracted by the thought whether the video was being shot with a single camera.
‘‘And I lost the plot," says Chirag, a candid admission, as he momentarily forgets his lines, almost prophetic in the fluid political scenario.
‘‘Let's do this from the beginning," he says towards the end of the clip, realising that unlike in real life, retakes are possible on video.
The video went viral on social media platforms as some, tongue firmly in cheek, hailed his performance. ‘‘I don't know how many seats the LJP will get in the upcoming elections but Bollywood has lost a brilliant actor,’’ quipped one.
Another felt Kangana had finally found a co-star, given that Bollywood is not too keen on giving her a break right now. Others, put off by his narcissistic streak, were indeed uncharitable: "His must be a tough thing to do. Shooting, acting, taking retakes after retakes, trying to milk your father's passing. Yes, Chirag, YOU LOST THE PLOT."
A flustered Paswan, taken aback by the online sentiment, felt let down by his legion of fans. ‘‘I don't know with what motive the clip is being spread. Do I need to prove that I'm sad on my father's death? If a party has to contest, videos have to be shot. What does JDU want to prove by releasing this video? It was being shot for the party's manifesto. Videos are shot every day. What's the problem with that? ’’
‘‘Those using an uncut video of Chirag paswan without verifying the facts and context - not a nice thing to do ... Let not the battle for Bihar stoop so low,’’ was a user's concluding remark to the video.