"Meanwhile his son Satya is preparing for a career as a leading man in films."
By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, April 30 - Filmmaker-actor Mahesh Manjrekar's decision to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai North-West as Maharashtra Navnirman Sena - candidate may have surprised everyone except the filmmaker himself. He says it was not an overnight decision.

It isn't an overnight decision, said Manjrekar who claims that he has known Raj Thackeray for 25 years and that his films often showed his political bent of mind.

If you see my films, whether it is 'Vaastav', 'Kuruskshetra' or 'Viruddh', there is always a very strong undercurrent of political anger in them. I am not a glamorous film person who has overnight decided to join politics. Politics, specially Maharashtra's politics, has been part of my bloodstream.

What is surprising is his leap into the Lok Sabha fray.

I thought I'd go into the legislative assembly because my concern is the politics of Maharashtra. I never thought I'd try to go to the Lok Sabha. I had spoken to Raj Thackeray a year-and-a-half ago about wanting to get into the legislative council. But now that I am fielding myself for the Lok Sabha, I'd still like to think of myself as a politician from Maharashtra who would get a wider platform to help the State.

He is not daunted by the MNS' controversial image.

What controversy? Have you read the statements on rape allegedly made by a prominent politician of Uttar Pradesh? We are faced with an acute crisis of morality in Indian politics. The time for dilly-dallying is over. If we care to save the country from the politics of such highly dangerous bigots, we have to act fast, said Manjrekar whose Astitva was a bold statement on women and their rights.

He has already planned out a clear strategy on how to go about implementing his ideas once he is elected.

The things is, every elected parliamentarian is seen by the common people as the face of Indian politics. When I go to under-developed areas of Maharashtra, I am asked to help the poor people overcome the water shortage. How do I explain to these desperately poor people that it's not my job to ensure them a water supply?

For the 35 municipal wards in my constituency, I will appoint 38 officers who will look into every problem of each ward and report to me directly. That would ensure accountability from every corner of my constituency even when I may not be able to be personally present everywhere all the time.

As for finding time to fulfil all his political duties, Manjrekar laughed. I only need 70 days during the year to attend parliament. The rest of the time can be utilized as and how I wish. I used to follow a no-work policy on Sundays. Now I'll be devoting Sundays to the people and problems of my constituency.

Now that he has such lofty political plans do we see the end of Manjrekar's career as a filmmaker and actor?

Definitely, I won't be acting anymore for now. But the filmmaker in me would never be out of work. I'll make sure that I earn my living by directing films so that I never have to look towards politics to earn money. This is my method of ensuring complete honesty in my political life.

Buzz has it that his family has opted to not participate in his political campaign.

Not true! protests Mahesh. My wife has been with me to a number of political events. As for my children I don't want to put them under pressure. Why bring them in unnecessarily? In fact, my daughter just called saying she'd like to join me in my campaign. I told her to chill.

Meanwhile his son Satya is preparing for a career as a leading man in films.

He's signed two Marathi films on his own without my recommendation or intervention. That's a big relief for me. I don't have to worry about his career. I am relatively free now to devote myself to the politics of Maharashtra.

comments powered by Disqus
Read more on:
 INDIA (136901 views)
 MUMBAI (98438 views)
 INDIAN (47121 views)
 MAHARASHTRA (38590 views)
 ESSAR (30337 views)
 UTTAR PRADESH (23781 views)
 WHO (19101 views)
 LOK SABHA (12331 views)
 BLOOD (12021 views)
 MARATHI FILM (6091 views)
 SURI (4611 views)
 IDEAS (4571 views)
 WATER SHORTAGE (4471 views)
 MAGE (3831 views)
 MAHAR (3431 views)
 CANDIDA (3511 views)
 CERN (2971 views)
 CONTROVERSY (2751 views)
 INDIAN POLITICS (2630 views)
 RCOM (2501 views)
 HOW TO (2021 views)
 HACKER (1651 views)
 RAJ THACKERAY (1341 views)
 NAVNIRMAN SENA (1271 views)
 THACKERAY (1241 views)
 MORALITY (971 views)
 2 (1241 views)


You can quote the permanent link above for a direct link to the story. We do not archive or expire our news stories.

  Email this story to a friend
  XML feed for India

All rights reserved for news content. Reproduction, storage or redistribution of Nerve content and articles in any medium is strictly prohibited.
Contact Nerve Staff for any feedback, corrections and omissions in news stories.

All rights reserved for the news content. Reproduction, storage or redistribution of Nerve content and articles in any medium is strictly prohibited.