“One Nation, One Tax, One Market”, affirms Amitabh Bachchan in a video on the virtues of GST, while Akshay Kumar is out to make his “humble contribution to Swachh Bharat” through his new film “Toilet: EK Prem Katha“.

Bollywood, it seems, is striving to stay on the right side of the ruling dispensation.

Amitabh, one of Indian cinema’s most globally recognised faces and whose friends-turned-foes history with the Congress is not unknown, has been made brand ambassador for the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a sweeping tax reform set to roll out on July 1.

It is not surprising because Amitabh has remained in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s good books for quite some time. Remember, Gujarat Tourism’s “Khushboo Gujarat Ki” campaign with Amitabh as the brand ambassador?

The Congress, on whose ticket the megastar had contested the Lok Sabha election from Allahabad in 1984, is clearly not happy.

But it is worth mentioning that during the Congress regime only, Unicef had appointed the megastar Goodwill Ambassador for Polio Eradication in India. It was a success, given that the nation was declared polio-free in 2014 by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Both Prime Minister (Modi) and Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) know that the government is not ready nor does it have the infrastructure to roll out GST. That’s why it is using a legend like Amitabh Bachchan so that he becomes the fall guy and has to face the brickbats,” Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam has said.

When it comes to campaigns, Big B is certainly a lucky mascot.

What does the actor have to say?

“I was asked, I did it,” the 74-year-old veteran, who endorses other government initiatives like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and is recently seen in ‘Darwaza Band’ campaign, tweeted about his decision to push the GST buzz.

As far as Akshay is concerned, he is doing his bit through films like “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” and “PadMan”.

A dekko at the trailer of “Toilet…” hints at how Akshay’s entertainer will perhaps set an example of wielding Bollywood’s soft power in giving a hard push to menacing social concerns like open defecation, gender discrimination, and myths around menstruation.

“Here is my humble contribution towards a Swachh Bharat, ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha‘ trailer,” read a social media post from Akshay, who even met Modi to talk about his movie last month.

“Good effort to further the message of cleanliness,” Modi lauded the actor.

The latest in the grapevine is that Akshay, who won the Best Actor National Award for “Rustom” earlier this year, has landed a chance to play Modi in a film. Some contrary reports refute that claim — but from what one can tell, Akshay is in the good and ‘right’ books.

There are more.

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Indu Sarkar” is making a noise ever since the launch of its poster featuring Neil Nitin Mukesh bearing resemblance to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The film captures the Emergency period of India during the rule of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975 — obviously ruffling up feathers in the Congress.

In his defense, Bhandarkar says the film is “70 percent fiction and 30 percent realism”, that he has not named any politician and that the project is “not sponsored”.

Even the government-backed censor board, which is readily asking filmmakers to bring NOCs for films on real life personalities, is ready to offer leniency to Bhandarkar as his project takes no names.

Veteran actor Anupam Kher, who is in “Indu Sarkar“, is also going to play former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in “The Accidental Prime Minister“.

The Accidental Prime Minister Poster
The Accidental Prime Minister Poster

The film will be based on a book by Singh’s media adviser Sanjaya Baru, who had controversially depicted his former boss as not being in full control of his own cabinet and being subservient to Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Prodded about playing a Congress man, the pro-BJP actor, whose wife Kirron Kher is a BJP MP from Chandigarh, told IANS in a recent chat: “It’s too early to talk about it.”

But at a press conference, he took a dig at Singh, saying: “It is not a silent film.”

A master of wit and sarcasm, Rishi Kapoor had last year stirred a political storm with tweets slamming the Congress party for naming important places such as roadways, railways and airports after the Nehrus and Gandhis.

Back then, the Congress said people were targeting the Gandhis “to get into the good books” of the ruling BJP, which has a string of Bollywood supporters like Paresh Rawal, Hema Malini and Shatrughan Sinha.

They say films are a mirror to the society and Bollywood fraternity is certainly doing its bit to propagate the initiatives of the NDA government by highlighting them in their cinematic offerings.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Im deeply shocked by this article. We the people of India follows rules of India. Since we have democracy of choosing our own government so we chose NDA this time with huge majority. The majority was a result of pathetic and corrupt govt that was running for straight 10 years. Now NDA has started many campaings which are never started and appreciated. Govt is Govt, they are doing for everyone, whether they support BJP or Congress, Hindu or Muslim. If they selected people to promote Govt schemes what’s wrong in that. If actor doing such films which showing historical facts and real face of our society, what is wrong in that. How can you compare this by comparing it to BJP? We all know Indira Gandhi emergency was black history of India, we know under Manmohan’s rule India faced country’s worst scams, we know building toilet and awaring people about toilet is good, so whats wrong in that. Do we stop doing all this because BJP is in satta? Are you a blind person who think this is favouring to BJP but not Indians. Your post have remark of Congress leader suggest that you are against all these films. Sorry to say but this post is showing how people have faith in last govt trying to change others mind of present govt.
    I was following this app from and website from many years but your shameful post allowing me to leave you guys. You are playing a political game here with your readers. Uninstalling may not be the only solution but yes I dont want to follow who want to politicize Indian cinema just for their benefit.
    Good Bye. KOIMOI.

  2. Such kind of movies will hurt the image of Indian Cinema which has been pro-individual and anti-establishment for the last 100 years. Cinema has always explored the beauty of individual characters, circumstances and made heroes out of those characters who stood up against the system and exposed the ground reality hidden far away from the glamorous self-acclaimed stats shown by governments, irrespective of party in power.

    But this is the first time we are going to witness a series of movies showing the bright side of ruling govt and highlighting the dark side of past governments.

    Every govt has its share of good and bad deeds for the country.. we all agree but we loved Indian cinema because of its political and religious neutrality. Best cinema for me is showing on big screen the hidden, complex and not so obvious aspects of human emotions and situations. Otherwise we can sit back at home and watch the tv news channels if we are so interested in taking sides. There we can keep discussing about which govt did what. But when I enter a cinema hall to see the highest level of all performing arts coming together to create an artistic beauty on the 70mm screen, please dont start the same stupid news channels again.

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