Elections are the time when politicians/parties point fingers at each other, but its also the time when celebrities get caught in the crossfire. And that’s what’s happening to our Bollywood stars.
It seems most of the fingers are now pointing towards Bollywood (post Mumbai elections) for not making their vote count (and rather opting for the IIFA awards in Tampa, Florida).
Mumbai had a dismal voter turnout, compared to other parts of India, which is making it even more difficult for the Bollywood stars, as people are blaming them for not setting a good example.
Who Stayed Back & Who Didn’t
Who skipped voting to attend IIFA awards in the US?
Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Sonakshi Sinha, Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, Madhuri Dixit, Boman Irani, Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Bipasha Basu, Vivek Oberoi.
Who flaunted or talked about casting their votes?
Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwariya Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgn, Farhan Akhtar, Vidya Balan, Preity Zinta, Milind Soman, Sonam Kapoor, Hema Malini, lyricist Gulzar, Kangana Ranaut and Subhash Ghai.
Clash of Interests?
There was definitely a clash of interest as IIFA and Mumbai voting day happened around the same time.
IIFA, in the past, has always seen a strong participation from the Bollywood fraternity — both for networking and also to make some good money. Although exact figures are not known, the average fees for performances at such shows ranges from Rs 50 lakh (for newcomers) to up to Rs 4 crore for the A-listers.
This, however, did not deter those who decided to stay back and vote.
Farhan Akhtar, who’s hosting the awards night (along with Shahid Kapoor) stayed back to cast his vote before leaving for Tampa Bay, Florida. Preity Zinta also flew down from Abu Dhabi to exercise her voting right. Kangana Ranaut and Subhash Ghai took a break from promoting their films to cast their votes.
Bollywood celebrities (who couldn’t vote) did regret not exercising their vote, however their reasoning is that they had already committed to the show more than six months back, when the elections had not been announced. Most of these celebrities make their commitments a year in advance, and its not practical to make adjustments at the last moment.
Bollywood Singled Out?
There are many who feel that Bollywood celebrities were being singled out. Why are the cricketers not being targeted, most of whom are in Dubai for the IPL?
Besides, had the Bollywood celebrities voted, would it have changed the dismal Mumbai turnout? Probably not, but then being celebrities, they can definitely set a good example.
Is it that many in India (especially Mumbai) still plagued by the “1 vote se kya farak pad jayega” (what difference will 1 vote make) attitude?
Probably its high time that the EC (Election Commission) organize the elections better, and also communicate the dates 6-12 months in advance. What about e-voting, can Indians not go and vote in Indian embassies around the world? Or Is this asking for too much?
Let us know what you think…