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BJP to use Telugu heroes to saffronize movies?


Ideology-based parties believe in spreading their ideology through arts and cinema. For many years, Marxist writers, authors and ideologues tried to influence filmmakers in different ways. Like Marxism, Hindutva is also a political ideology.

The Hindutva ideology has started influencing millions of youngsters through multiple channels. Social media and mainstream media have played a key role in this. Of late, cinema, too, has been doing this. Bollywood films have been seen to be promoting a version of Hindutva in soft ways. So far, Telugu films have stayed away from political Hindutva because the BJP has never come to power on its own in the Telugu States. It has been a junior partner to a ruling party in the past.

But BJP is now a growing force in Telangana. There is a likelihood that the saffron party wants to use Tollywood to make political Hindutva more acceptable. BJP National President JP Nadda inviting Nithiin for a meeting may mean an attempt in this direction. There is a possibility that the actor will be requested (or has already been requested by Nadda) to mouth dialogues amenable to RSS' ideology in his films.

What forms can it take? Remember how director Gunasekhar showed RSS men in Mahesh Babu's 'Okkadu' in the song 'Hare Rama'? Things like that can be shown in films to make RSS and BJP attractive. RSS believes in propagation strongly. References to Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya and abrogation of Article 370 are two of the ideological issues any hero can take without sounding too political. We will have to watch out for the upcoming movies of actors like Nithiin to know where this project is headed.

Nithiin may just be the first Telugu film actor who is being culturally recruited by the RSS-BJP. A few other actors, mostly medium-range ones, might also be joining the bandwagon.

On the other hand, it is not easy to make such predictions about Jr NTR. Given his larger potential in the political scheme of things, he can't be seen to be taking ideological sides so soon in films. Any small thing that he says in a film will be analyzed way too much. That's why he will most likely tread with caution.