Television

After Iraani, political bug bites Sudha Chandran, Aman Varma

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MUMBAI: First it was film stars, now its television stars who are fast scrambling into politics these days. Earlier this year, it was television's ideal 'bahu' Smriti Z Iraani who joined the BJP and was appointed the vice president of the party's youth wing.

Looks like another two from telly land have followed suit. Television's ideal vamp (if there is any such thing) Sudha Chandran (better known as Ramola Sikand of Kaahin Kissii Roz) and Aman Varma are the latest entrants into the field of politics.

Will the focus be on the 'bindies' or the rallies??

Chandran joined the BJP in the presence of party president Venkaiah Naidu at the party office in Mumbai late yesterday evening. Speaking to indiantelevision.com about the latest development, Chandran explained that it happened all of a sudden. There was a rumour in October last year about her joining politics, but that's just what it was - a rumour.

Said Chandra, "Nothing was finalised in October. I had only been talking to Parab Alvani (Corporator, Ward No.91), Vinod Pawde (BJP official) and Sureshnan (President, South Indian Cell, BJP). They had asked me if I was interested in joining the party. After getting my nod, they did not revert to me, but apparently, they had kept my name on their discussion table while talking to Mr Venkaiah for the past few months. As for me, I was approached only yesterday to attend the press conference at the BJP office. Midway through the conference, I was inducted into the party."

Shooting presently for four shows - Kahiin Kissii Roz, Tum Bin, Zameen Se Aasman Tak and Karma, the lady refused to agree that she needed to inform the producers before she took the splash in politics. "I am sure that my work will not be hampered by my political agenda. That's all what matters," she quipped.

Furthermore, Chandran said that her entry into politics was a dream come true for her parents and herself. "Ever since I became a public figure, courtesy the film Nache Mayuri and Ekta's serial Kaahin Kissi Roz, my parents and I were keen to do something worthwhile for the welfare of the handicapped. There are several issues which I am going to take up in this regard. Like, there are reserved seats for the handicapped in buses and trains, but the public has not been educated enough to refrain from using these reservations until and unless they fall in the handicapped category. It is difficult for a normal person to understand the pain and anguish that a handicapped feels."

Chandran is a classic case of inner resolve. She overcame her disability caused by an accident, with the help of a prosthetic 'Jaipur Foot' to become one of India's most highly acclaimed dancers. "I think the message to be driven home about the welfare of the handicapped will be easier if I take up the reins; the identification factor will be easier," she said.

Is the lady open to contesting elections? She replied, "Anytime. I have left everything in the party's hands. As and when they want, I will serve the nation in whatever manner they want me to."

When asked what was 'amazing' about BJP (Chandran was quoted in a leading daily that she found BJP to be an amazing party), she replied, "When Congress ruled, India was a land of scarcities. And, Congress ruled for five decades. Today, India is a plentiful land. The gestation period for commodities is over- the queues outside ration shops is gone, telephonic landlines can be acquired in a short time. With BJP at the helm of affairs, the day is not far off when people from abroad will be rushing to work in India."

Aman ka jaddo chalega kya?

To join the two leading ladies of television in the BJP is actor Aman Varma (Anupam Kapadia of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi) who is readying himself for politics.

Speaking to indiantelevision.com, Varma said, "I am meeting Pramod Mahajan in this month and then we'll take it from there. I am interested in politics and I would not rule out contesting the elections in future, but not the forthcoming one." In a lighter vein he quipped, "Neta aur abhineta mein jyada farak nahin hai. Abhineta mein se abhi nikal do, woh neta ban jata hai." (There is not much difference between an actor and a politician. If you take out the word 'abhi' from the word 'abhineta', meaning actor, it would read as 'neta', meaning politician).

Arvind Trivedi and Deepika Chikalia have been two TV actors who had joined politics, but faded away. Whether Iraani, Chandran, Varma and their ilk can rise above the occasion, remains to be seen.

Several things can be derived from this latest development. One - Either the BJP needs these actors for political gains. Two - the TV actors are really inclined to genuinely serving their country. Three - the TV actors have some lucrative deal with the BJP party. Whatever said and done, the age-old saying - Politics makes strange bedfellas - seems to be proving right yet again.

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