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Life as I'm learning it

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Location: Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, United States

"It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match'd with an ag├Ęd wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Captain Courageous

He's done it!!! Finally, actor-turned-captain has turned politician with the launch of his party, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (National Progressive Dravida Party).

I am not going to delve into his political stances etc, as I've already written about it in a previous post. Whatever ideas and action plans he has developed for the people, there is only one thing he will be judged by - the number of votes he can poll.

Some optimists amongst us would love to think that he can emulate MGR and NTR and storm to power right away. The probability of that happening is minuscule. Whatever that be, the question is, in an already crowded political landscape, how is he going to position himself?

For MGR and NTR, positioning wasn't difficult. They were idols, in the true sense of the word. The only other thing they had to do was to identify themselves with an ideology. For MGR, it came easy - Annadurai was considered the most important political leader of the Dravida movement. So, MGR caught onto him. In each movie, a photo of Annadurai would be displayed prominently in MGR's house or study; songs would have a reference to Anna's ideology. This came useful later, and the party's name Anna DMK, sounded as if it was that section of the DMK that espoused the views of that great man.

NTR's positioning had a touch of genius. His buzzword - atma gauravam - self-respect. It was as if to command the Telugu world, "Wake up, and demand respect." Again, the name of the party Telugu Desam, suggested the linguistic basis of his political identity. This would have made life difficult for rivals, because a herd would naturally sway towards someone as charismatic as NTR, who promised to rescue them from their abyss - who promised them their respect.

Vijayakanth's charisma isn't on the same plane. He has a following no doubt, but how is he going to market himself? Poverty alleviation, universal education, impeccable sanitation are all buzzwords that even Vijay Krishna can harp about. But it takes much more than that to con a state to vote for you.

Taking on the establishment is the only plank we have heard from 'captain'. That's fine in guerilla warfare, but politics? From the outside, it seems to me that this man has neither a firm ideology nor a marketing strategy. As of now, Vijay seems a far cry for this Kanth... but in politics, you never know. As Trout says, "Perception is all that matters. Don't let facts deceive you!"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good analysis

9/16/2005 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger airanand said...

as u say I also seriously doubt if he can sway votes based on the weight of his movies alone..

but then he is yet to announce a manifesto or something similar.. lets see what that brings us..

9/18/2005 11:49:00 PM  

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