When Bollywood celebrities flaunt pictures of their meeting with political big-wigs is it just a case of role reversal?
hen Bollywood celebrities flaunt pictures of their meeting with political big-wigs is it just a case of role reversal, or does the implied political blessing impact the fortunes of a film?
Whether it is the picture of Ranveer Singh giving Prime Minister Narendra Modi the much touted jadoo ki jhappi, or that of Parineeti Chopra’s awkward hand shake-or-namaste meet with him, almost every actor seems to cherish a picture with a powerful political figure. The social media accounts of a host of B’wood biggies including Vicky Kaushal, Anil Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut, amongst others, are replete with visuals of them posing with political heavyweights, the captions of which gush about the meeting.
It seems like a strange reversal of roles for celebrities who themselves are gushed about and fussed over by fans who are proud to flaunt pictures posing with them.
Film critic Amul Mohan feels that is it just a fan-moment. He says, “Every time a celebrity meets someone, who in their eyes, is a bigger celebrity, it calls for a picture, and they like to show it off on their social media accounts. Also, our Prime Minister is so popular with the masses that Bollywood celebrities feel great meeting him and interacting with him. That is just that. Let’s not read into this any further.”
Filmmaker Madhuri Bhandarkar, who recently met the PM at the inauguration of the National Museum of Indian Cinema, says, “It is very nice for the PM to interact with members of the film fraternity. We also appreciated it when the GST was slashed earlier. It really helps to have such engaging dialogues with him. Industry people are very happy with the kind of back-to-back interactions they have had with the PM, and the industry welcomes it.”
While during the recent meeting, Narendra Modi did speak of issues that concerns the film industry, like piracy and pricing of tickets, the question that looms is whether a nod from a minister helps a film get validation of sorts. For instance, take the case of actor Kangana Ranaut organising a special screening for President Ram Nath Kovind of her soon-to-hit-the-screens film Manikarnika. She did also meet the PM later.
Film critic Omar Qureshi points out, “It’s like an indirect validation. It makes for an excellent photo opportunity for both sides.”
He goes on to add, “It shows that the PM or another powerful political figure is giving a hearing to issues that have plagued the industry for years. When an issue like this goes on the PM’s desk, people also take it more seriously.”
PM Modi’s epic reply
Recently director Imtiaz Ali shared a selfie along with Kartik Aaryan, Karan Johar and Dinesh Vijan, with PM Modi in the backdrop and captioned it, “Losers’ backfie with the honorable PM (sic).” Kartik reposted the same picture and his tweet caught the eye of the Prime Minister who re-tweeted, “Not losers but Rockstars! No selfie Jab We Met but there will always be another occasion (sic).”