A firebrand speaker Prakash Raj, who is an Indian film actor, is very aggressive and active these days voicing his concerns on politics and social justice. These days he is not only inviting controversy but also is attacked by right-wingers for his leftist and secular approach. This is not the first time that he came in controversy though. Telugu film producers banned him six times in the past just because he was not ready to take mediocrity. It was the first time that an actor was banned by the Telugu industry. Telugu film industry insiders interpret the ban as a conspiracy by several big heroes and producers. There are lots of problems in south film industry; there is one big lobby of upper caste and lower caste, the hierarchy and dominance by some section is visible. He is one actor who always stood against atrocities.
Meanwhile these days, three south Indian actors are hitting the headlines every day for some or the other reason; Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth have decided to jump in politics and actor Prakash Raj criticised this move stating, ‘being famous is not enough to be a good politician of my country’. Prakash Raj, for years and years, was tipped into doing the most villainous and vicious of roles in movie after movie. But later on there were movies where he played caring husband to doting father’s roles. He was perfectly fit in both types of roles. Till today he entertained us with his acting but these days he is grabbing our attention for his aggressive comments on social network.
Prakash Raj’s comment on actors and politics follows months of uncertainty in Tamil Nadu after the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa in December 2016 and the other two renowned actors Haasan and Rajinikanth have merely added to the dilemma and disarray. Actor Prakash Raj said that actors should not enter politics only because they are popular as that will ultimately end up in a disaster. Prakash Raj frequently commented on the political arena and made headlines when he supported Kamal Haasan for his views on “Hindu extremists.”
In a post shared on Twitter, Raj raged about the idea of implanting fear in the name of religion and culture. Kamal Haasan, the one sitting on the fence, is wondering whether to be or not be a politician! We have also been watching Rajinikanth, announcing his new political party and meeting various people in this regard. Silently they all are supporting DMK. Rajinikanth has, for years, been keeping his adoring fans sceptical about his political entry. The storm settled when he addressed a press conference announcing his political party on his birthday, which was on last December 12.
In an already-vitiated political atmosphere in Tamil Nadu — with several power centres vying for a foothold in Fort St. George — the state desperately needs administrative stability and ability. Haasan or Rajinikanth may or may not be able to give, because we have seen political neophytes in India emerge in a blaze of glory, promising people the moon, only to vanish soon after in a fog.
In such scenario what Prakash Raj said made sense. Politics in India has become one big game of hero worship and idolatry — a fact that has been in some way responsible for the mess this country is in today. After all, does a Haasan or a Rajini have any political acumen or foresight or experience to run Tamil Nadu? Do they have a clear political agenda to address the multitude of challenges faced by the state?
As is often being done, it is pointless to compare these two Tamil actors with men like C.N. Annadurai, M Karunanidhi and M.G. Ramachandran (who all came from a cinema background) — who had a clear-cut ideology and worked hard on the ground before asking for people’s mandate. Dravidian ideology — which was propagated by both the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam — had a well-defined purpose that tried to solve societal differences, brought about by age-old caste supremacy, divisions and prejudices. Looking at present conditions, Prakash Raj had a point when he cautioned people against voting as gushing fans or admirers. Yes, voters must pause and ponder before they press the button on the electronic machine.
Let us not forget that Tamil Nadu is not a film set — where actors are given scripts to play their parts and directors push and prod the painted men at every turn of the camera. The other day he came out with a famous quote: “Actors in politics are a disaster.” He said this during a media interaction at the Press Club of Bangalore.
He believes that actors should not enter politics only because they are popular. It is a disaster. The actor has been trolled and seen as a left-wing sympathiser because he questioned Prime Minister Modi’s silence on the murder of the Kannada journalist and a social activist, Gauri Lankesh. Prakash never shown any inclination to join politics, he had earlier said that he was not willing to join any party. But as a citizen of this country he will never pause or hesitate performing his freedom of speech. He will question the government, establishments and will stand parallel to the politicians by making them answerable. The other two has become part of Indian politics to bring change. Let’s see how this trio are going to fulfill their aims for future.
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