Artists and Elections

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

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Artists and Elections

Swapnil Bharali | August 30, 2020 17:10 hrs


The popularity and fan following of Assamese artists, singers, and cine stars among the masses cannot be undermined. Their great talents have earned them the respect and admiration of the Assamese society which, in turn, has been instrumental for them being able to make careers out of their talents and passion.  



Be it music, cinema, or theatre, our artists have made names for themselves and many of them have acquired celebrity status making a huge impact over social media with their posts and opinions.


Last week, however, some of them have made a bigger splash in an arena that is purportedly alien to them allowing a variety of memes and jokes to be shared around on social media. With the state elections approaching, a number of these artists have joined various political parties – mainly the Congress and the BJP – for reasons that remain best known to them. This, however, is not to question their competence or capabilities that would justify their action. And there is no reason to be critical of their decision either. Rather, it is to appreciate the fact that such action of theirs would only add to the political consciousness of their fans and followers.


Every citizen being politically conscious in a democratic country is vital towards nation-building and this point can be driven home by such people who have decent fan followings. Assamese artists can play a pivotal role in this case. However, joining a political party just ahead of elections brings into focus two aspects: one is of course that an artist’s choice of a political party is a direct indicator of his or her political ideology. Secondly, it brings a certain level of doubt about the intention of the artists and their political aspirations. 


Election history of Assam has its share of instances when the political stature of an artist has bitten the dust. Late Dr Bhupen Hazarika’s loss to Kirip Chaliha in one such parliamentary election is a case in point. 


At the same time, artists have also succeeded in pushing their political ambitions through resounding victories and currently, the BJP has a fair share of MLAs who were artists at one point and continue being so.


These big influencers of the day will no doubt add a different flavour to the electioneering this time around. While we hope it will be for the better, we will also wonder how many of them would become capable law makers eventually.
 

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