Thursday, November 20, 2003

The Baghban Effect

Are politicians and the media taking movies seriously? In the recent family tearjerker Baghban, Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini play husband and wife, whose love doesn’t diminish with age.

They express their love but always with a oneliner: “Tum Sudhroge Nahin (You will not improve!).”

The horizontal, black-and-white advertisement had nothing that could catch one’s eye. Who looks at a state government ad these days, though the number of such ads has grown manifold of late.

They are similar: Honourable Chief Minister’s smiling mug with a list of their achievements. But this one was different.

While most such ads also carry a photo of the leader of the ruling party, this ad had Honourable Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Honourable Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav sharing two corners.

Mulayam Singh’s party has always termed Mr Vajpayee BJP as the enemy no. 1. This, at a time when he and his party keeps denying media speculation about whether the two enemies are coming closer.

The day before his Uttar Pradesh government had given a clean chit to senior BJP leaders in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

An uproar the next day had forced him to step back and do a Mayawati. When his predecessor, Mayawati, used to get in trouble with a decision, she would blame it on some bureaucrat and would sack the poor guy.

Mulayam blamed it on the state government advocate. Strange happenings.

Off screen, Amitabh Bachchan represents Mulayam Singh Yadav. Hema Malini is the mascot of BJP. Will their onscreen love give UP another set of strange bedfellows?

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