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Starry Roles

Told In Stage Whispers

Some artiste-politicians in Bengal balance work and career masterfully. Others are devoted to their offices.

Told In Stage Whispers
Photograph by Getty Images
Actors Tapas Paul (left) and Satabdi Roy (second from left) at a TMC rally with Mamata Banerjee
Told In Stage Whispers
outlookindia.com
2017-05-27T11:28:21+05:30

Indian political parties have been poaching celebrities, hoping to emp­loy their glamour and popularity to grab votes, for decades. Some outfits, for instance the Communist Party of India and other Left parties, have more or less steered clear of inducting stars into their fold, preferring to have themselves represented by those nurtured in politics, such as student activists. But most national and regional parties, from the Bharatiya Jan­ata Party to the Trinam­ool Congress, rely hea­­vily on famous people to woo voters. Many of these stars occupy important positi­ons in national or regional politics and are ministers, MLAs and MPs. Yet, in spite of demanding political careers and pre­ssing schedules as office-­hol­ders, many continue to pursue their cre­­a­tive pro­­fessions—from dra­ma and dance to  music, literature and films.

“I think if you love doing something, you will find the time to do it, no matter how busy you are,” Babul Supriyo, the singer and actor who joined politics dur­ing the 2014 Parliamen­tary elections on the invitation of the BJP, bec­ame a Mem­ber of Parliament from Bengal’s Asansol constituency and, subseque­ntly, a central minister, told Outlook. “To me, music is to my life as a charger is to a cell phone...without it, I will soon be drained out of all energy.”

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