Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Mahesh Bhatt, one of Bollywood's few intellectual filmmakers, can sometimes regale you with wonderful insights. His latest addition in this category is about the film actors joining the political parties now. They are dugdugis, he says.

If you don't know about dugdugi, it's a percussion instrument to attract people. In the non-tech days of yore, the street magicians and other tricksters effectively used it to pull a large enough crowd before they went about their real business.

Perhaps no one could not be more trenchant than Bhatt about the role of these film actors in politics. Parties know these people are mostly no-brainers, but have the capacity to draw the masses around them. Besides, the current media is interested in all the inanities they mouth, any tantrum they indulge. So why not use them to catch voters?

The BJP, India's ruling party, is now marketing savvy, and has arranged a crash training programme for these actors. It will teach them what and how to talk, and whom to address.

It all seems like a huge fun. Without any real issues being projected by any party, the election this time is getting to be a novel one.

These are truly dugdugi days!

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