Last week, I was in Madras. While browsing local channels, I was surprised to see comedian SV Shekhar in a saffron T-shirt arguing the case for Narendra Modi on Sun TV. When asked about AAP, he dismissed them as nothing before Modi. It was quite clear that he had, once again, switched parties.
SV Shekher’s tryst with democracy started with a run as an independent in a Mylapore election. He lost of course. Later, he joined the AIADMK and won from the same constituency. If you listen to his drama tapes or MP3s, you will see that in he was usually making fun of DMK and its political culture. In some of his newer dramas, you will find him making fun of AIADMK as well but not as much as he did with the DMK. One female character in his drama has a voice that is a drop-in replacement for J Jayalalitha (AIADMK).
For some reason, SV Sheker ruined his welcome in the AIADMK. One day in the TN Assembly, he started singing effusive praise of Stalin and the DMK. I guess this was part of the deal for letting him join the DMK. Later, he left DMK and joined the Congress.
At the end of one of his previous dramas in Bangalore, Shekher acknowledged that he was jumping from one party to another but defended himself by saying that his goal was only to help people.
Still, I was surprised that they let him join the Congress. In one of his dramas, SV Shekher questions the action of Sonia Gandhi, an Italian-born woman, trying to become Indian PM. He specifically said that only Mahatma was Gandhi and the rest were just “boondhi.”
Eventually, even the Congress expelled him. I think parties are exploiting him and making him say these things, and when they have extracted the maximum out of him, expell him. T Rajender was once a DMK guy. He did not get a ticket and sided with the AIADMK. There, they goaded him to come on Jaya TV and mock DMK, Karunanidhi, and Sun TV. Actor Vadivelu, who was once the highest-paid Tamil film comedian, was made to launch an orchestrated attack on Vijayakanth. The attack backfired when Vijayakanth’s alliance won. Vadivelu lost all film chances after the election. He does not get to appear even in movies made by the sons of Stalin and Alagiri. Now, DMK and Vijayakanth are talking of an alliance. Where does that leave Vadivelu? Outside. Look at how DMK launched vicious personalised attacks on some of senior Communist politicians in the state. See what Congress did to Karunanidhi & his wife & daughter. Politicians are extremely nasty towards each other. They also unpredictably come together. Minnows don’t swim with sharks. They get gobbled up. Hares don’t walk with elephants. They get trampled.
According to one report, Shekhar had even tried to join the BSP. Don’t say, “Oh, God!” Like a butterfly, a trip does not end with one or two dips.
On the last visit to Madras, it was clear that SV Shekher had moved yet again. I was instantly reminded of the Looney Tunes cartoon with the Gambling Bug.
I wonder if the last move was voluntary. Just see Paul Dhinakaran’s endorsement of Modi. Was that conversion really a heartfelt blessing? Of course not, BJP know only too well the miserable effect that minorities play in splitting votes or tilting vote outcomes. Christians might be opposed to Modi and may come out to out in huge droves to vote against the BJP. So, they put the fear of god into Paul Dhinarkaran and made him go toadie before Modie.
On a previous visit to Madras, I caught a fleeting glimpse of a wall poster containing a caricature of a four-legged creature. The superimposed photo of the head of the creature seemed to resemble SV Sheker. I found this very curious but my bus moved before I could investigate further.
Today, I find that a different abusive poster had come to the notice of Shekar. Shekher had filed a complaint with the police. The outfit who put the posters was called Tamizh Nadu Hindu Mahasabha. Shekher was harrassed on the phone and his house was also stoned and even firebombed. At the end of this harrassment, Shekher might have well given up.
BJP would welcome any seat it can get in Tamil Nadu and an instantly recognizable person like SV Shekher could be ideal candidate who would deliver that seat. Whether he is successful or not, it is quite clear that politics is a cess pool. If you throw a rock into it, it is your clothes that will get soiled.
UPDATE (08-Jan-2014): I went to see the two SV Shekar dramas on Sunday. I realized quite late that I had seen them both before. Only the politics-laced double entendres were new. After each show, Shekher gives a speech in which he speaks about his troupe, the charitable activities they are doing, etc. In the speech after the first drama, Shekhar tried to drop the name Modi but the name was received with deafening silence. It was dead in the water. Nobody got what he was talking about. After the second drama, he dropped more hints about Modi and there was a pity applause. (Most people think he is still with AIADMK.) From what I could surmise from their appreciation of his politically flavoured dialogues and jokes, the crowd that assembled there was a strictly pro-AIADMK and vehemently anti-Congress one. Nobody had heard of Modi. This means AAP also has a tough task outside Delhi. Very few people caught the broom jokes either.