Celebrities As Politicians – Can They Lead Effectively? | By Archana Debnath
We in India enjoy a democratic set up to govern and manage the affairs of the nation. We wield the right to select people amongst ourselves to help us in running our country. Right from Village Panchayat (Council) to Assembly at State level and to Lok Sabha (Parliament) at National level, it is the ubiquitous politician elected by us who works to manage the matters of the country.
If the politician is to be chosen by us from amongst one of us, then celebrities have all the right to be chosen as politicians. And in case they are not allowed then this will amount to discrimination. In India we don’t believe in discriminating against any citizen.
But as politicians, can celebrities do justice performing the role of leaders of this vast and diverse nation? Will celebrities be serious politicians taking their job with requisite diligence that it calls for? Will they connect with the common man at the grass root level and be ready to serve them with all sincerity? Or are they trying to join politics simply to garner more wealth and fame?
It is but natural to raise such doubts about capabilities and effectiveness of celebrities as politicians. After all it is generally understood that celebrities move around in super rich circles and live in an almost unrealistically comfortable posh world, a world far removed from the harsh realities of a common man’s existence. In such a scenario is it possible for the celebrity politician to ever understand the pain and struggle of the man on the street? Will such a politician come down to ground zero and put his make-up in disarray under a scorching sun , or get his manicured hands soiled working in his constituency? There are many more such questions that crop up in our minds the moment we hear of a celebrity turning politician. But I guess its now time to do a rational analysis of efficacy of a celebrity politician vis-a-vis a normal politician. In succeeding paragraphs we will carry out a reality check on these issues and try to arrive at a considered conclusion.
The basic foundation on which democracy prospers is educated leaders leading a literate population. Most of our present politicians are barely educated, with some blissfully uneducated. In comparison almost all celebrities are sufficiently educated to lead a democratic nation. Now it is for you to decide as to who is better poised to handle the complicated affairs of a nation at various levels.
Most of our present day politicians are either linked to some cognizable crime or connected to criminals. On the other hand only a handful of celebrities can be accused of hobnobbing with criminals. Then why do we object to celebrities joining politics! At least we’ll have cleaner political parties if celebrities join politics in droves.
Successful politicians have a mass appeal and grass root support base. That is the mantra of their success. Celebrities, especially movie stars, also have mass appeal and can cement a support base. But what if after winning an election a celebrity politician doesn’t go on ground and work in his constituency? Big deal! Doesn’t the situation sound familiar even today minus the celebrity politicians?
Even if we accept that celebrity politician is looking for continued wealth and fame, lets admit that a normal politician is also doing the same. In that case should we be overly worried of such intentions? On the other hand, as an educated and a clean personality having mass appeal there are more chances that a celebrity politician will deliver more than the lot we have to currently contend with. If we accept celebrities as politicians then we have a higher probability to do better as a nation, considering the political bankruptcy that India faces today.
An economist with specialization in capital market analysis. The author advises Indian stock market participants through a blog site http://archana-archdeb.blogspot.com.