THE GREAT INDIAN CIRCUS
Super Star’s Side Show
The first take was a disaster, having failed to evoke the fans’ hysteria as used to happen. The second take, yesterday, is an apology. The Actor known for his speed on screen appears to have lost his silken touch off it. The blasts that ravaged Kovai last Saturday continue to keep the people and authorities on their toes with the whole populace burning with fear and terror. But our Nero, sorry, Hero who was fiddling with the wrong notes all these days has suddenly woken up to the discord arid has decided to play a different tune. The Actor, who did have his chance soon after the blasts has now belatedly ‘congratulated’ Advani for his providential escape. The Actor probably thought Advani has done a stunt scene. The cause for this delay may be because of Advani coming down a few rungs in the Actor’s estimation. Or simply blame it on jet-lag.
The Actor, however, appears to be in very elite company. Another star has also condemned the bomb blasts, yesterday. It is none else than the Congress’s star campaigner Sonia, who ‘in response to the criticism that she was insensitive to the happenings in the country has sought to dispel such doubts’ by coming out with a sweeping condemnation of the dastardly act. So what if it is a week late. The smoke is still there!
These two characters have just demonstrated how much deeper politics can sink if charisma and adulation sans knowledge and ideology are allowed to have a free play. Rajaji said that any number of shadows cannot constitute substance. But in India that is Bharat, it is only these shadows that have consistently passed muster as the real thing, plunging the country deeper and deeper into an abyss of darkness and despair even as they prosper. The sad part is that the star’s raving fans, who are ready to tonsure their heads a hundred times if only their hero says so once, are no different from the sycophants in the nation’s premier party of yore for whom, now, their star campaigner’s pallu or her petite daughter’s duppatta, is more venerable than even their party’s tricolour.
The Actor seems to have also done a half-somersault vis-a-vis his views, only god knows what they are- on the bomb culture in the state. Besides betraying a confused mind the Actor’s telephonic interlude with Advani also exposes traces of repentance. So long we believed that only his delivery of words was incomprehensible. We now know that his thoughts are no better. Those who saw him on the Sun TV’s small screen, soon after he landed in the country, were no doubt left wondering what the hell was he talking about. Here is a person who first raised his voice against bomb culture. That culture is now a full grown bomb civilisation, thanks to the Karunanidhi regime. The Actor, so, was expected to go to town on his pet topic and proclaim to the world at large that he would have nothing to do anymore with those who allowed it all to happen. If that was an over-estimation of the Actor’s sensitivity, the least that was expected was a reference to the ‘full-grown’ bomb culture in the State. But surprisingly, nothing of that sort happened and instead he read out an entirely different script. He went on the defensive, seeking to protect his leader and even begged that Kalaignar be given another chance. He even mumbled something about self-respect and all that and his leader resigning on his own if there was another blast. The entire tone of his brief interview was to underplay the disaster and on the contrary reaffirm his faith and support to his loyal falls in politics. One even got the impression that the Actor had perhaps got the meaning of the phrase bomb culture wrong and had all along thought that it was something like tissue culture or prawn culture. And one cannot be blamed for such a line of thinking for the lack of coherence and consistency in the Actor’s words and deeds is legendary as is borne out of his recent semi-volte face.
And he is naive, The Actor’s post haste assurance that his self-respecting leader would call it a day if there was a repeat of the event, apparently has not found favour with that leader. A bomb promptly went off within 48 hours but the leader is yet to oblige. But then we all know that the leader respects his self more than anything else and it is we, and that includes the Actor, who have got him wrong all these decades. The master scriptwriter is only used to having his script acted out. He is unlikely to relish someone else dictating what he should and should not do. Beware Actor, one more wrong step and the Kalaignar may turn his guns on you, when he ‘suddenly’ realises that you are not a Tamil and instead hail from a State that denied us Cauvery.
And as if to add insult to injury, the Actor had even suggested to Advani that the latter should put down the bomb culture, as if it were just a burning match stick, when the BJP comes to power. He doesn’t say ‘if’. He seems to be now more certain than everyone else that the BJP will form the next government. We could understand the DMK chief’s chagrin as he is surely not going to take kindly to his hero’s dual role which is, once again, not part of the script. The Actor, of course, has to now explain whatever happened to the mainshow, in which he had proclaimed unqualified support to the TMC-DMK front, lest his fans get even more confused than what they are now.
We have nothing against super stars so long as they remain silver screen Images, regaling the audiences with their antics. But when they poke their noses into real politick without knowledge and accountability and seek to perpetuate the very same delusions that they enact on screen, they are more likely to get fooled. Unlike in movies, real life villains are a smarter lot. And voters are not the same as fans.
One should have the will to take the plunge and once it is done, the courage to go the whole hog. Cats on the wall run the risk of getting stoned by those on both sides. Somersaults are not wholly wrong for it may be owing to a genuine change of head. But half somersaults are dangerous. You are more likely to land, head first!
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