It has been more than a month since we came to know about the stunning attendance records of Members of Parliament like Sachin Tendulkar and Rekha. Now superstar Rajinikanth is doing his bit of churning the waters, by dropping hints about his entry into politics. Stones have reportedly been pelted in front of his Poes Garden residence in Chennai, by a group of people who do not want him in politics.
Should celebrities and showbiz people be given the coveted entry card to a political life?
As per this news report, Sachin and Rekha, who are nominated members of the Rajya Sabha, have abysmal attendance records since their nomination in 2012. That they have very much been present at many sporting events and cinema award ceremonies in the mean time, makes us question the very premise of their nomination to the privileged Parliament, which serves as one of the guardians of our sacred Constitution. A recent news that Sachin met our Prime Minister to promote his upcoming biopic, says a lot about the indifference and disregard of the MP towards the constitutional post that he has been bestowed with.
Superstar Rajinikanth met his fans in a specially organised public event after about eight years, on May 15. Come elections, you will hear the political circles buzzing with anticipation for his entry into politics. He keeps brushing all of it aside in his usual style and goes about his job of acting. This time around, he has asked his fans and followers to be ‘prepared for war’ which has set the speculation ball rolling. Whether he will support BJP or float his own party is something that only time will tell.
No celebrities in politics. While most of us have come across a ‘full dedication’ clause in our employment offer letters, which prohibits employees from taking up other jobs while in employment with their current employer, people in politics seem to have no such roadblocks. And while politics may not be a full-time job, but being an elected representative to an assembly or the Parliament should definitely be one, as it pays a monthly salary – apart from the numerous perks and subsidies that these people get.
To argue saying Sachin or Rekha have done a lot of good deeds otherwise is a moot point in itself because what they have done are not special deeds. It is what any political representative must do in the normal course of their work as a people’s representative. There is absolutely no need to put them on a pedestal just because they did this. It is true that they have done what most other MPs or MLAs don’t usually do, but that is the shortcoming of those other MPs and MLAs.
There have been isolated cases where cinema stars have become bankable leaders, and later on, chief ministers of their states. But it is not the norm. To leave the decision to God (and other debatable entities) shows the indecisiveness of the person. I would not want an indecisive leader who shifts the onus of important things onto God. To create hype before every election and before the release of a movie is unbecoming of a leader anyway. This shows the insensitivity of the ‘leader’ for the feelings of his fans and his political followers.
If the celebrities feel that they cannot do justice to their election/nomination as an MP or an MLA, they have the right to refuse/deny. Their greed for power and money seems to be more important than their need to serve the country.
We need to realise that it is our taxes that contribute to the salaries and perks of these legislators and we have every right and duty to question them, even when they put a single toe out of line. If we don’t, it is our collective failure and nothing else.
We must have rigid rules that prohibit two-faced nutjobs from getting elected to coveted positions. We need to clean up the system for good.