As expected Kushboo has let slip her long hidden interest in politics and is all set to join a political party. The actress who is relieved after the Supreme Court dismissing the cases filed against her for her comments on pre-marital sex has come public with her views. Kushboo now says she stands by what she said in an interview to India Today five years ago. That is she stands by the words she denied having said when activists made her life difficult with a slew of cases slapped on her. She learns things fast which a prerequisite to survive in politics.
Kushboo has said she is keen on joining the Congress party much to the surprise of many who thought she is close to the ruling DMK. There were even talks of her getting a coveted place in the forthcoming upper house in the state assembly. She would have been then called Kushboo MLC. Now things are hanging in balance waiting for her to return from her London vacation.
In Tamil Nadu politics actresses have not been as successful as their male counter parts from Kollywood. Barring one Jayalalitha no body would make a mark. But here the point to be noted is that Jayalalitha’s successful run happened started after she quit films completely and took part in active politics for some time.
Perhaps the first female cinema celebrity to get associated with a political party was K.B. Sundarambal. K.B. Sundarambal was influenced by the then Indian freedom movement and she became ardent supporters of the Indian National Congress. Then at the behest of the congress leader Sathyamurthy, K.B. Sundarambal campaigned for the Congress party in the 1937 elections. After Indian independence, K.B. Sundarambal entered the Madras State Legislative Council in 1951 as a Congress nominee, thus becoming the first film artiste to enter an Indian legislature. After the Dravidian movement gained prominence male stars took the centre stage.
When AIADMK was formed in 1972 actress Latha held apposition in the party. She was removed from the post even before it became the ruling party. When Rajiv Gandhi became in Prime Minister a lot of film personalities were attracted to the Congress party all over India. Yester year actress Jamuna joined Congress party in 1980s and switched to BJP in 1990s.Vayjaanthimala joined the Congress party under Rajiv Gandhi and got elected to the Lok Sabha in the 80s.
Even actresses like Ambika, Radha and Jayachitra held a flirtatious relation ships with congress for some time. The even campaigned for the party in some elections. Later they identified themselves with Jayalalitha. Latha who disappeared from politics in the 70s resurfaced in the late eighties and along with Vennira Adai Nirmala they were used by some political parties to counter Jayalalithaa. Vennira Adai Nirmala contested Jayalalitha in the Bodinayakanur constancy in the 1989 assembly elections only to lose. Later Nirmala joined BJP and moved into oblivion. Even Lakshmi joined BJP only to withdraw later. Even small time actresses like Maya and Babilona occasionally made noises for politics. Radhika actively campaigned for the DMK in one of the elections.
Of late the 2006 Parliamentary election in Tamil Nadu witnessed some activities of actresses in politics. This particular election had many female stars campaigning for the prominent parties. The notable one was Simran who joined AIADMK and campaigned. Other actresses who took the political stages were Vindhiya and Kovai Sarala.
Most of the actresses in politics could not reach higher in the party hierarchy and were used as not more than show pieces to gather crowd. Even if the hold positions most of them never take part in running the organization or executive. Plenty of examples out side Tamil Nadu you can find to this. Jamuna, Urvasi Sharadha, Nagma, Jayapradha, Hema Malini, Jaya Bachan and many more.
Now after a very long time Tamil Nadu politics may become an active platform for an actress. Kushboo is already a known face on Indian media from Tamil Nadu. Thanks to her command over the English language she is made an opinion leader by the media of north on issues of south. With her announcement to enter active politics the media will do half the work of launching her. There are fireworks waiting.
But will Kushboo become the only other successful actress politician in Tamil Nadu after Jayalalitha?