In a nation singularly obsessed with politics on the one hand and cinema on the other, the point where the two intersect arouses avid curiosity and interest. What draws the larger-than-life personalities who entertain us on screen to the world of governance and politics off screen?
Neta - Abhineta: Bollywood Star Power in India's Politics traces this phenomenon through intimate and compelling portrayals of some of the most popular actors in Hindi cinema who have, from the years leading up to India's independence in 1947, entered Indian politics for reasons ranging from a sense of social commitment to a desperate quest for a second chance at fame when their star power dimmed. Dilip Kumar, Nargis and Sunil Dutt, Rajesh Khanna, Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha, Hema Malini, Mithun Chakraborty, Jaya Prada, Vinod Khanna, Govinda, Raj Babbar and Paresh Rawal are some of the more prominent names that feature in this intriguing account involving film veterans, superstars and also-rans.
Packed with entertaining and revelatory anecdotes about personal and professional rivalries, clandestine romantic liaisons and cruel betrayals, and fascinating insights into the power games that drive show business and politics, this book reveals what ensues when the two worlds - intensely alluring and dangerously fickle - merge.
Writer and journalist, Rasheed Kidwai is Associate Editor at the Telegraph, Kolkata. He is the author of the widely acclaimed Sonia: A Biography and 24 Akbar Road: A Short History of the People Behind the Fall and Rise of the Congress. Kidwai is a regular political commentator on various television networks and radio channels and in newspapers, and has been a guest lecturer at several journalism schools and universities.