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Actors should join politics with a mission

V Eshwar Anand’s article, “Filmstars and elections: Actors have enlivened the Indian political theatre” (Perspective, April 12) seeks to convey the message that actors (including TV stars) entering politics are keen to pursue a career in politics, given an opportunity. However, is it possible for a person to simultaneously play the dual role of a neta and abhineta?

Owing to their glamour and charisma, actors get tickets from national and regional parties. They are generally accommodated to make the contest a high profile one, though it is not always so. If they win, they tend to pursue their reel and real public life.

Dharmendra and Govinda were MPs for namesake. They rarely attended Parliament. I have not come across an actor in recent times who, after being elected, has bid adieu to his/her film career. If a person has made up his mind to join politics, it ought to be a full-time job with an avowed mission to serve the country and not as a part-time assignment along with other commitments. Indeed, NTR, MGR and Jayalalithaa have done so.



Yes, filmstars are crowd-pullers, but it is doubtful whether they are vote-catchers. I feel that most people attend election meetings only to see filmstars and nothing more.

Actors should not treat politics lightly or as any another profession. If they want to join politics, they should take it seriously with a missionary zeal. Only then, they can do justice to their work. I agree that Dharmendra and Govinda have done little as MPs.

Political parties’ bid to woo filmstars for canvassing suggests that they are not confident of winning elections on the basis of their policies and strength.



The writer has not examined the flipside of filmstars. Most of them have amazed huge wealth and evaded tax.

It is doubtful whether filmstars like MGR, NTR and Jayalalithaa have done anything substantial for nation-building, especially for aam admi.

I would expect the voters not to be swayed away by the charm and glamour of the filmstars in the election meetings but to exercise their franchise judiciously and without fear or favour. If we want our country to progress and march forward, we should select men and women of high integrity and character to Parliament and state legislatures.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

Khayyam’s music

Music director Khayyam, no doubt, was a doyen of Indian film music (Spectrum, April 5). But he has made great contribution to non-film music too.

His finest compositions include ghazals of Mirza Ghalib sung by Begum Akhtar and Mohammad Rafi. In fact, he brought out the best in Rafi in ghazals like Ghazab kiya tere vaade pe...

No one can forget the soulful bhajans sung by Rafi like Paaon padoon tore sham, tere bharose hey nand lala, sham se neha lagaye. He composed for Asha Bhosle’s album and another album having songs written and sung by the late Meena Kumari.n


God’s presence

The book review of “The Birth of God” (Spectrum, March 29) was interesting. A few days ago a Class VII student asked me how and when God was born. I told her that God is immortal he does not take birth or dies. He is formless, omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient and dwells in every soul but we don’t have the eye to see him. He is an abstract entity and the creation of one’s unshakable faith in him. Of course the child was satisfied but now I will recommend “The Birth of God” to her.


Versatile Shamshad Begum

Harihar Swarup (April 5) has given interesting glimpses from the life of Shamshad Begum. However, the song Chod Babul ka Ghar is not from Mother India but from Babul.

The song sung by her in Mother India is Peeke ghar aaj payari dulhaniya challi. Shamshad Begum was a popular playback singer in films of 1940s and 50s.

She had a full voice though with a little nasal twang which added to her appeal. Before the advent of Lata Mangeshkar, Shamshad ruled the singing scene in films.

Besides Hindi films, she also sung for Punjabi movies and gave great hits like Batti baal ke banere utte rakhni haan and Mul vikda sajan mil jawe, lai lawan mein jind vechke from the film Bhangra as well as Kachhi tut gayee jinaa dee yaari, pattanah te bain rondiyan from Pind id kuri.

Then there was, Chham-chham kardi gali de vichhon from Kodeyshah which was a memorable hit.

Brig. H.S. SANDHU(retd), Panchkula



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