23 September, 2020

One Reel For Politics

The Dev Anand-led party was a well-intentioned flop

One Reel For Politics
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

“Friends, therefore, I give you the National Party.” Thus spoke Dev Anand at a press conference on September 14, 1979, at the Taj in Bombay. He was there to announce the formal launch of a political outfit and the release of its manifesto. It was a strange but real event in the political history of India. Dev and his colleagues in the enterprise called their party a ‘crusade’ against the corrupt politicians of the country. And the crusaders were none other than our own film folks who wanted to “teach a lesson” to politicians, who they thought were a “pack of greedy fools, a motley crowd of self-seeking opportunists”.

The seeds of discontent were sown during the Emergency of 1975-77, when the entire film fraternity, like the rest of the nation, was subjected to humiliating treatment in various ways. Legendary stars like Dilip Kumar and others were forced to speak in laudatory terms about the state of Emergency. When Dev and Kishore Kumar refused to fall in line, they were banned on radio and Doordarshan. When Emer­gency...

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