Many film stars have made the successful transition from films to politics. Take the case of NTR, MGR, Jayalalithaa, Chiranjeevi and now Pawan Kalyan, all of whom entered politics from down South. In fact, the first three even went on to become Chief Ministers!
All of them were ‘mass leaders’, who were able to get close to the people. However, at a recent media conference, Pawan Kalyan raised everyone’s hackles when he said that he can’t do a padayatra because of security concerns. Interestingly, the same Pawan toured many places when his elder brother Chiranjeevi started the Praja Rajyam Party nearly eight years ago. Similarly, the late NTR did an extensive padayatra when Andhra Pradesh was united. Not just him, but many others have always tried to get close to the people and toured many villages by walk.
“You have entered into politics not just to serve your fans, but all the people. If you are not getting close to people, then how do you know their issues? You can’t rely only on your managers or personal assistants to know what people are thinking about you. It is not leadership when you say that you can’t move an inch if you do a padayatra,” says film producer and analyst Thammareddy Bharadwaj.
He adds, “If you are a true leader, you will not be scared and will go to people directly and talk to them. You may take a few days more to complete your task when compared to other politicians because of the crowd, but it will surely have a positive feedback.”
These days, if any actor visits a place, people throng the venue to catch a glimpse of him/her. Pawan Kalyan is one of the top actors in Telugu cinema and he has a massive fan following. So, people will undoubtedly rush to see him wherever he goes. Meanwhile, the actor is saying that he is ready to go to the people, but what stops him is the fact that even if he is in a car, it’s difficult to move in a crowd. Is that reason enough to avoid meeting people?
“If you look at him and the way he speaks, he is really immature. He (PK) says that issues like ‘Uddanam kidney’ problem should be looked at from a human angle. But it is the government that has come forward and taken up the issue. Pawan Kalyan has completely failed in his responsibility,” says political analyst and former Congress leader Gangadhar. He adds that he is disappointed with the way the actor-turned-politician talks about a few issues. “He came to politics for a change and we all hoped that there would be a chance for a new political party, but he has failed. A leader should command his cadre and meet the people,” opines Gangadhar.
Interestingly, the late Congress leader Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy also walked across the state of Andhra Pradesh (united) for many days, which helped him come into power and become Chief Minister.
“If you want to highlight people’s issues and enter full fledged politics, there are a few hurdles initially, but you have to make way and time to meet the people. There are superstars like NTR and MGR who had a huge fan following, but even they went directly to the people to know their issues. So, he (PK) can control the fans and his cadre and plan accordingly to meet people. If you feel there are issues that need to be discussed, you definitely need to go close to them,” says actress and BJP member Jeevitha Rajasekhar.
“Pawan Kalyan is now staying put at one spot and fans come from all over the districts to see him. If he makes a plan to tour all the districts, then people will stay at their places and it will not turn into a problem,” says Thammareddy....