By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Nawazuddin Sha, who was in Patna to conduct a pre-poll survey for a television show, was denied a meeting with Bihar’s CM Nitish Kumar.
However Nawaz did meet the intrepid Laloo Prasad Yadav and came away very confused.
During this season of the Lok Sabha elections that brilliant actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has taken on the added responsibility of hosting a television show for a new channel. The show takes him on a pre-poll survey among the aam junta and leading politicians of several North Indian cities.
In Patna on Thursday mingling with the masses and the netas, the abhineta was denied a durbar with Nitish Kumar.
But Nawaz did manage to meet Laloo Yadav. And it was a borderline bizarre encounter.
Says Nawaz, “I had gone with high hopes. The pre-election series that I’m doing entitled Kehta Hai India gives me a chance to understand the emotions of the voters and the netas. I couldn’t meet Nitishji. But I did meet Lalooji. But it was a useless encounter. He didn’t answer even one of my questions. I ’d ask him a question and he’d reply with a completely different answer. For example, I wanted to know why he had pitched his daughter against her uncle in the elections. He behaved as if I hadn’t asked the question at all. It was as if he had made up his mind about what he had to say irrespective of what I ask. I felt I was communicating with someone on another planet.”
Nawaz says the entire experience of connecting with the public and politicians has been an eye-opener. “I’ve visited Patna, Lucknow, Jaipur and a few other cities. Everywhere there’s a lot of disappointment with the politics of our country.I have interacted with a lot of young people. They all feel the time is right for a change. They all want to be part of the change. But they don’t know how.”
Nawaz feels it’s better for entertainers to try to make a difference to society from out parliament.He says this show that he’s hosting is his contribution to the political change that the nation needs urgently. “I can’t be part of active politics. I can’t stand the elections because I can’t understand politics. I am right now focusing on my career. I can’t do more than one thing at the same time.I felt by taking up this show where I go from city to city collecting the opinions of the electorate and politicians I am part of that process to bring about a change.”
It hasn’t been easy making time in his schedule for this Bharat yatra. But Nawaz says there are responsibilities that every citizen must take up seriously.
“Luckily I’ve a voice now. When I mingle with the people on the streets they listen to me and give thoughtful answers. I am at an advantage because though I am recognizable actor people see me as a man of the masses. They do ask me about films when I speak to them about politics. But only after they’ve answered my questions,” says Nawazuddin.