Sunday, May 23, 2004

Star power
Jaspal Bhatti

EVERYONE, including me, had been mocking the mad rush of filmstars making a beeline for politics. People were wondering what Dharmendra and Govinda, who hadnít an inkling about politics, would do once they entered Parliament. Govinda, who was never on time on the sets, today is Neta No 1. He has changed the name of Ram Naik to Ram Khalnayak.

The success of these stars may or may not be good for the Parliament, but it sure is great news for the film industry.

On my way back from Mumbai, I happened to meet Gulshan Grover on the plane. We got into a discussion about the exodus of stars from films to the world of politics. Gulshan remarked that previously stars had no concrete post-retirement plans. Today, an altogether new career option has opened for them. Donít be too surprised if you hear an ageing film star say, "Yaar, I canít remember my dialogues at this age. Itís time for me to join politics now."

Workers associated with the film industry like make-up men, dancers, spot boys and costume designers, are happy. They feel that they now have a number of representatives in Parliament. This doesnít mean that in the coming times the raw material is going to be made cheaper or that the quality of films is going to improve. But these filmi-netas will be easily accessible to the common film worker. Any make-up man can approach Govinda or Dharamji saying, "Remember Sir, I was your make-up man in Hero No. 1 or Sholay. Kindly recommend my sonís name for admission in a nursery school in Goregaon."

Now the time has come when filmstars will not only shine on the box-office, but also in Parliament.