‘Triggered’ by TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee’s ‘irritation’ to the chant of Jai Shri Ram, actor Arun Govil, who played the role of Lord Ram in the famous TV serial Ramayan, joined the BJP on Thursday.
Beyond politics, it is interesting to note that in the past, several actors from the two epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata have had stints with political parties. Here’s a list of those popular characters and their political career:
Arvind Tiwari as Raavan
The 82-year-old Tiwari, who played the role of Raavan in Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan, acted in more than 250 films that include both Gujarati and Hindi films. Most of his films have been around social dramas and mythologies.
As he shot to popularity with the role, Tiwari earned a Bharatiya Janata Party ticker from Sabarkantha Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat. He served as the Member of Parliament from 1991 to 1996.
In 2012, the actor was appointed as the acting chairman of the Central Bureau of Film and Certification after Vijay Anand put down his papers over legalising soft porn.
The last we heard of him was in 2020 when he was seen enjoying the splendid rerun of Ramayana during coronavirus lockdown days.
Ravana’s role played by Mr. Arvind trivedi. Now he is 84 years old and watching himself pic.twitter.com/2CHAg7Ln02
— Nidhi Singh (@NidhiSingh2302) April 12, 2020
Deepika Chikhalia as Goddess Sita
Actor Deepika Chikhalia, who gained popularity playing Sita, entered politics in 1991 and contested elections to become a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Baroda. In an interview of Outlook a few years ago, she said that she had to leave politics after her daughter was born because she needed me at home.
She also told a publication that despite receiving calls from many parties to contest polls, she chose the BJP because her grandfather had actively worked for the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh). “So, I had an RSS root in my family,” she was quoted as saying by The Metrognome.
Nitish Bharadwaj as Lord Krishna
Nitish Bharadwaj, who made a mark in his acting career by playing the character of Lord Krishna in BR Chopra’s ‘Mahabharat’ was also a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. He joined the party in 1995 and went to the Lok Sabha from Jamshedpur.
Last year, in an interview with Etimes, he said, “I am not inclined towards politics and not an active member, who participates in elections. Instead, all my focus is towards my acting career. I am more inclined towards filmmaking, acting and directing at this stage.”
He was once considered as the blue-eyed boy of BJP leader Uma Bharti but began facing trouble ever since the latter quit the post of Madhya Pradesh chief minister in 2004. First he was removed from the chairmanship of the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation to be inducted as the party’s general secretary in the state and later he was apparently sidelined in the organisation. Finally in 2006, he quit the party.
First he was removed from the chairmanship of the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation to be inducted as the party’s general secretary in the state and later he was apparently sidelined in the organisation.
Roopa Ganguly as Draupadi
Roopa Ganguly aced the role of Draupadi in the 1988 show Mahabharat. The then Union finance minister late Arun Jaitley had in 2015 handed over the party flag to Ganguly, formally inducting her into the BJP fold.
Ganguly is recognised for her roles in films like Padma Nadir Majhi by Gautam Ghose, Yugant by Aparna Sen and Antarmahal by Rituparno Ghosh. She won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for Abosheshey.
Gajendra Chauhan as Yudhisthir
Gajendra Chauhan, who played Yudhisthir in Mahabharata, is an active member of the BJP, who had a brief and controversial stint as the chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India.
Raj Babbar as King Bharat
Raj Babbar, who played King Bharat, the ancestor of the Pandavas and Kauravas in Mahabharat, began his political career in 1989 with Janata Dal. Later, he joined the Samajwadi Party and was elected Member of Parliament thrice.
He was a member of Rajya Sabha from 1994 to 1999 but was suspended from SP in 2006. He later joined the Indian National Congress in 2008.