New Delhi, July 30: No matter how much intellectuals and critics slam Bollywood for its often crass content pandering to commerce and neglecting art, the popular actors belonging to the Hindi film industry are considered as demigods by their fans.
On Sunday, when popular actor Kangana Ranaut openly endorsed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's name to sit in the hot chair once again after the all-important 2019 general elections, several eyebrows were raised.
There is nothing wrong in celebrities to support politicians or political parties. But over the last few years, after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came to power in Delhi, most Bollywood stars have deliberately decided to avoid making any political statements, especially against the ruling regime or its supporters like right-wing groups.
While we see several Bollywood stars openly supporting the BJP and the PM, hardly anyone from the industry has come out in the open to support the rivals of the ruling regime.
There is a reason behind it as after superstar Aamir Khan spoke about his fears regarding the political atmosphere in the country at an event in 2015, he was publicly lambasted by several BJP leaders and supporters. The actor was even asked to leave the country.
Bollywood celebrities like Swara Bhaskar and Vishal Dadlani, who regularly speak against political and social evils, have been subjected to ugly and nasty criticism on social media by BJP supporters.
Thankfully, no one criticised Kangana for supporting Modi, because she has the right to do so, but the same logic does not apply to those who support Modi's rivals.
This is exactly what Kangana said after she watched the short film, Chalo Jeete Hain, based on PM Modi's childhood: "He (Prime Minister Modi) is the most deserving candidate. It's not like he has reached this place because of his mother and father. He is the rightful leader of the democracy. We have voted him as our Prime Minister. This cannot be taken away from him. This is his well-deserved place which he has earned after sheer hard work. So, there shouldn't be any doubt about his credibility as a Prime Minister."
When asked if Modi should come back to power in 2019, Kangana added, "Of course. Why not? Five years are very less to take the nation out of a pit. Our country is in a pit, we need to pull it out."
The actor of hit films like Queen and Tanu weds Manu also praised Chalo Jeete Hain and was mighty impressed by Modi's childhood.
"The film has been made beautifully. It shows how Prime Minister Modi, being a sensitive child, went through such extreme circumstances. But I feel this film is not about him. Rather it is about us--how the society needs to be together to rise. This film is just a small part of his life."
Earlier, Modi had met Kangana and the pictures of their meeting went viral on social media.
"I am a big Modi fan because of his success story. As a young woman, I do believe that we need to have the right role models. I mean the graph and the ambition of an ordinary man and whenever we have a PM who is a chai wala, then I always say that it is not his victory but it is the victory of our democracy. I feel he is the right role model," the actor had said.