PopMatters’ columnist Priya Lal has this interesting take on Politics and film stars, Bollywood Eshtyle.
Amidst all the fuss about Schwarzenegger, I turn, as always, to South Asia for illumination. And after doing so, I can’t help but ask, “What’s the big deal?” Film stars in politics? Eh, that’s nothing new. India has been doing it for years. In India, film stars can even become gods. That’s right. Schwarzenegger may have muscles, a cool Austrian accent, and maybe someday he’ll have the Californian gubernatorial seat, but he’s far outshined by the record of India’s film “heroes” and “heroines”. For example, N.T. Rama Rao (popularly known as “NTR”), star of the South Indian Telugu cinema’s silver screen, not only served in public office for decades, but he also cultivated an image as a “living god”.