The natural progression for actors, sportspersons and bureaucrats whose spotlight is about to dim in their respective careers, seems to move on to a different platform: Politics. Cricketer Gautam Gambhir, actors Sunny Deol, Urmila Matondkar, boxer Virendra Singh, singer Daler Mahendi are a few such names who have jumped into the electoral fray.
A great rehabilitation programme as they had nothing going for them anyways in their respective careers. Why do parties get taken in so easily by these people and give them tickets to contest for the Lok Sabha?
Jayadev Galla, industrialist and politician argues, “They have been achievers, have a fan following so definitely will make an impact. Otherwise why would political parties consider them? Many politicians have a criminal record. Atleast these new entrants have a clean image. Also, it’s good for all professions to be represented.”
That’s where former CBI chief V.V. Laminarayana, who took VRS to join politics, fits in. After all it’s the bureaucrats who run the administration, so if they were to join politics, it definitely is an advantage to the party. “Politics is the ultimate form of service to the people. But unfortunately, for a few, politics has become a place for serving the self. We need to bring change and restore the democratic values as enshrined in the Constitution,” says the former CBI chief, who has contested on a Jana Sena Party ticket.
Every officer who enters the civil services does so with the intent to make a positive impact on the nation, thus making them potentially good politicians too, he believes. While that may be true, there’s no denying that politics does give one the ultimate power along with money. And that’s the tempting part for many who enter the electoral fray.
“Politics has become the great melting pot, which gives access, power and connections like perhaps no other field. It is the social acceptance and sense of preferential treatment that thrills people, especially those who are already successful in other professions. There must also be in many, I hope, the desire to make an impact, and change things,” says author and political strategist Sriram Karri.
“With politics, you move from money to big money but I see IAS officers as the worst criminals and most corrupt gang in India. Politicians are far better,” adds Karri.
With several celebrities entering the political fray over the last few days, one wonders if it is a miscalculated publicity stunt or an effective strategy which only time will reveal. Says actor-turned-politician Prakash Raj, “I came out of my comfort zone to take a stand. I am well known and don’t need to prove my identity. I am joining politics because it is the need of the hour. I do not come for money or fame, as I have enough. But it’s time to say — enough is enough and take charge.”