Films a path to politics

Actor, director and politician Upendra talks about why elections and public life are close to his heart.
Last Updated 01 January 2019, 15:56 IST

Today, I can say with certainty that I have attained the goal that I set for myself years ago. Entering politics was always on my mind and I was sure that I didn’t want to be the typical run-of-the-mill politician. I wanted to take the people along with me. In fact, cinema was never my goal; I only wanted to use it as a path to enter politics.

Somewhere, I felt that I was destined to enter politics because if you’ve watched my films like ‘Upendra’, ‘Super’, ‘A’ and ‘Om’, you will see that they reflect my thoughts, ideologies and the struggles within me. When I entered cinema, I was immersed in it.

‘Om’ was about the rowdyism that I had heard about and seen as well. ‘Upendra’ was a psychological thriller, ‘Super’ delved into patriotism and ‘Uppi2’ talked about why God is the greatest administrator. I used all the cinematic liberties to convey my vision for the State and also portrayed what I thought was wrong with the system.

It was after ‘Uppi 2’ that I got into an introspective mode and began thinking that I must get into politics if I really wanted to be the difference that I was yearning to be. There was a certain restlessness inside me that didn’t let me stay quiet. That’s when ‘Prajakeeya’ began to take a serious shape. I was clear that I didn’t want to launch just another political party, I wanted to start an authentic manifesto-based party where the promises made and the vision put forth before the people should be fulfilled.

I was clear that my party would draw up a definite plan and stick to it, no matter what. I was fortunate to have a lot of like-minded people join hands with me to take my vision forward.

After I launched the party, we released a manifesto and a budget to go with it. The next step will be to bring in transparency and accountability for every penny that is spent. It is a challenge for me because politics has become a bad word today.

People would have reposed their faith in politicians, had they spent the tax payer’s money for the benefit of the people. But that’s not the case today. I am not here to win or lose, but I want my message and vision to reach the people. If every single person starts working towards a better tomorrow, I am sure that there will be a difference. I also don’t intend to stick posters and erect hoardings to get my message across to the masses, I will harness technology and use the power of social media to reach the people.

I propose that the manifesto released during elections must be registered with the courts because this will ensure accountability. This change should be incorporated in the Constitution. And those who don’t fulfill what’s in the manifesto should be held accountable.

Many ask me how I am going to juggle the role of an actor, director and politician. My answer is simple — acting and directing is my livelihood. Whatever spare time that I have, I will devote to politics because
I am an independent person who is not answerable to anybody. Once I’m elected by the people then it will be my duty and responsibility to work for the people.

For details, download the ‘Prajakeeya’ app on Google Play.

(Published 01 January 2019, 13:21 IST)

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