A recent Facebook post from popular actor Jayasurya props up an interesting query. If God appears before you and asks you to make a choice, to be a dog or child, what will be your choice? It asked readers.
The question went viral, but chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan didn’t bother to respond this time. The last time when both Pinarayi, who exchanged friendly jibes, and Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who reacted strongly, interacted on social media were with film actors. While Pinarayi consoled Jayasurya who lamented about the pathetic condition of roads in Kerala, Kodiyeri reacted sharply to Sreenivasan, who criticized the murder ridden politics in the State.
Politics is now not the exclusive domain of its practitioners alone. Representatives from the field of arts and culture, especially film actors, regularly interfere and think it is their right to express their opinion on political and social affairs of the State.
The growing disenchantment against the customary political style and the presence of social media has made this task a lot easier these days for the actors.
Malayalam film industry can boast of its presence now in the Legislative Assembly and in Parliament. It was something which was unthinkable a few years ago.
Innocent with his imitable style and thoughts has made his presence felt in Lok Shaba while Suresh Gopi, with his macho image in tinsel world and as a public figure, has been doing well in Rajya Sabha. Mukesh, who has once again proved that any role is safe in his hand, and Ganesh Kumar are in the Legislative Assembly now. The chairperson of the Sangeetha Nataka Academy is KPAC Lalitha, who declined to contest from the Vadakkanchery seat.
Kamal, B. Unnikrishnan, P. Sreekumar, Aashiq Abu are those film personalities who have proudly said that the Left is right. If there is an ardent supporter of Congress and someone who doesn’t expect any positions, it is Salim Kumar.
It is only for a matter of time for actor Sidhique to wear the Khadi shirt. Mohan Lal, Dileep and Manju Warrier have voiced their opinion on social issues regularly. It was only natural that Innocent, who has been the president of AMMA for the last one-and-half decades, was the right person first to take this different path.
Innocent feels that the change was due to the fact the Malayalam film industry has shifted its base from `Madras’ to Kerala.
“Now the number of those who have been asking the film stars to mind their own business has come down considerably. With Mukesh winning the assembly seat, people now will hesitate to say that big crowds come only to watch film stars and not to vote,’’ says Innocent in his imitable style.
Innocent jokingly thanks his step mother for all this. “My step mother said I was good for nothing and cinema was the last resort for me to succeed,’’ he said.
Innocent says he didn’t think twice when the offer to contest the Chalakudy seat came to him.
“It gives me great satisfaction when I hear this was done by Innocent. Many actors who are now not busy have sought my help to enter politics. I tell them if they are genuinely interested in serving people they should enter politics immediately but warn them that people are good enough to guess the motive of a ousted actor.’’
Like Innocent, actor Mukesh also feels that an actor shouldn’t act in politics. The people should be convinced about the actor’s commitment and love towards the society. An actor should have the magnanimity to ask and clear doubts about things he doesn’t know. There is no point in trying to wriggle out of situations by fooling people. Mukesh says he has mellowed down after interacting with different kinds of people.
“Ninety percent of film stars are interested in politics but they want political parties to approach them,’’ says Mukesh, who says that the actor in him silently salutes the people’s representative in him.
Actor Sreenivasan vociferously criticized CPM State Secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, who welcomed more left supporters from film fraternity into the party, by pointing out that the party in the past had offered seat to Ramu Kariyat.
However, Kodiyeri chose to respect the different view expressed by actor Sreenivasan. The party has given permission to actors who are elected as people representatives to continue acting without affecting their political career and activities.
Film director Sathyan Anthikkad has now got the unique opportunity to control both MP and MLA. Both Mukesh and Innocent will don the grease paint in next movie to be directed by Sathyan Anthikkad. However, Innocent has jokingly warned Sathyan not to carry his prejudices against politicians into the set.