There’s a new entrant in the political arena of Karnataka. For the first time in the political history of the state, a young and leading film star has ventured into politics by floating his own party. Karnataka is unique when compared to its neighbours in the sense that the state has never as much entertained film stars in politics. Many successful personalities from the film fraternity have tried their luck at politics in the state and met with mixed success. Those who succeeded had to be content with ministerial roles in less important portfolio, no film star has ever been able to lead a political party like what has been done in its neighbouring states.
Actor Upendra’s entry into politics has surely raised many a eyebrows, it’s not something that people will ignore. Given that Karnataka has always voted for the local influential political class first, caste and money following, the people here would rather ask people from non-political background to stay home. Although Upendra is quite a big star, he doesn’t really enjoy the same following that a Rajkumar, a Vishnuvardhan, a Shankar Nag or a Kichcha Sudeep enjoy/ed.
The question everyone’s asking his how far he’ll go to ensure a clean administration, if he wins in the first place. Unfortunately, time and again, the people of Karnataka as well as India have been let down by people who touted themselves to be revolutionary leaders. The experience has mostly been bitter.
Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party came into existence at a time when Indians were losing hope in the people who run the show called “Sarkar”. The outspoken ‘common man’ and his party were no less than a revolution, their anti-corruption stance won over the hearts of the urban youth – the ones that pay taxes and see politicians gobbling up the money from the exchequer. The man turned out to be a clown, a one of his kind person who, as the Chief Minister of Delhi, sat on the road to protest. After being in office for 48 days he resigned, letting everyone down. Although the people of Delhi gave him another chance, it doesn’t look like his popularity has gained in the recent past and has only gone down.
Narendra Modi is another disappointment. The chest thumping charismatic orator surely knows how to pull the strings, and when to. He has struck the right chords with the ‘right’ people, has left the ‘left’ and ‘centre’ behind in strategizing. His promise of a corruption free India seems to be in place, by hook or crook. Either the government is really clean or they’re doing a great job in keeping things hush-hush. Whatever be the case, the man and his team have done a good amount of mediocre work while ensuring they get the best PR.
I won’t question the intent of Mr. Modi. Swachch Bharat, Beti Badhao / Padhao, GST and even demonetization (to an extent) had the right intent, if the intent communicated to us is what we’re supposed to believe in, but the execution was flawed in most cases. While the economy seems to be doing good if not good enough or great, the polarization is evident. That may not be the government’s doing, but Modi’s followes have ensured that India and every household are constantly at ideological war.
Siddaramaiah, CM of Karnataka, is the third such disappointment and probably the worst of the lot. His government has only courted controversies, one after the other. From undesired mega infrastructure projects to death of whistleblowers to Hublot watches to Indira canteens, his government has only shown carelessness. The people running the show here have utter disregard for laws, rules and procedures.
Given the state of present politics, a new political perspective is the need of the hour. Upendra is touting his party to be built by people who work for people – not social servants, not rulers, but workers. He wears ‘Khaki’ – a colour and fabric that represent workers. His dreams are big, he’s assuring transparency, he wants people to change their mindset. He says he’s scared that people are getting used to the corrupt ways of our ‘system’, that there’s a need to fix everything from school education to Engineering syllabus, from tendering processes to awarding of contracts. He wants to put proper democracy to use, he wants us people to have a dream, to dream good and just, to dream of better villages with efficient administration. He’s giving us a vision.
The question is whether anything will change. If you ask him, he shoots this negativity down, but many biggies have set a precedent of making big promises, showing us colourful bollywood-esque larger-than-life dreams and eventually run the show like any other politican would. We’ve lost hope one too many times and that makes us cautious about the new-age politicians. We don’t have any choice but to take everything with a pinch of salt, that’s the damage our ‘system’ has taken.
This Rajyotsava Day, I do hope that Upendra’s Karnataka Prajnavantha Janata Paksa makes some strides and wins a couple of seats in 2018 Assembly Elections. I hope the party gifts this state the kind of people and service it needs and deserves. I hope it’s not executed like the movies he directed – all with brilliant ideas, but often failing in reaching out to the masses because the ideas were too brilliant for the masses to understand. I promise him my vote, if he can ensure transparency even before filing nominations for elections. And my promises aren’t like that of Kejriwal’s, Modi’s or Siddu’s.