Monday, September 29, 2008

Andhra: A state to be run by movie stars?

Recently, Chiranjeevi a big movie star in the state of Andhra Pradesh announced that he would be contesting in the state elections under the banner of his new party PrajaRajyam.  I was not a big fan of his entry into the state politics as I felt he was still untested as a capable organizer.  Being a movie star is one thing and running the state is another. What AP need at this moment is a capable leader who understands not politics but how to to marshal the state's resources, build a consensus among the various constituents and lead AP onto the road towards development.  However, his entry seemed to only create further divisional politics and divides among the various communities in the state.

However, I changed my view as clearly there is a need for an alternative to the TDP-Congress set-up in the state.  An independent party that has no close ties to either of the two dominant parties in the state could provide an alternative platform for growth. So far so good. But, the problem is who would actually be part of Chiranjeevi's advisors - his brother, his brother-in-law, many film personalities with little or no understanding of economics or what it entails to organize. Movie-matinee idols are only limited to inspiring the masses, they cannot be trusted to implement progressive policies that can address real issues.  The worst part is that they might actually adopt populist agenda that would end up costing the state exchequer millions.

Chiranjeevi needs to enter the state politics.  However, to be able to make a difference he needs to be surrounding himself with intellectuals who can help him make a difference.  he has a fresh start and can dream to do this.  However, it seems like he is slipping by surrounding himself with movie stars and other celebrities who might know nothing of governance.