Following in the footsteps of Trinamool Congress, which got a major support from the Bengali film industry in gaining power in West Bengal, now the state BJP has put up a forum —- ‘Shatadale Chalachitra Mancha Gaan’ —- headed by actor-politician George Baker.
The forum was formally inaugurated by state party chief Rahul Sinha Tuesday. “The last change the people saw in Bengal was brought about in 2011 with the help of stars of the silver screen. The real change will come about in 2016, with the help of this forum’s members,” Sinha said.
The next Assembly elections are scheduled in 2016.
Sinha said the the forum “will usher in happy days for both the actors and the technicians”.
“This forum would help them regain their self-respect,” he added.
Taking a dig at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, he said, “Some people have a fascination for being featured in newspapers with filmstars. This will not happen here”. He also took a potshot at TMC MP Tapas Paul and said, “We do want villains, but only as actors on the screen or on the stage — not those who live in the society, disguised as heroes.”
While Baker has been named the convenor of the forum, director Milan Bhowmik is the secretary. “We already have nearly 3,000 members in the forum. Our objective is to ensure equitable distribution of work as against the present scene where only a handful of actors patronised by a particular political party get the work,” Baker said. He said the forum would ensure proper implementation of several central government schemes for the betterment of the artistes.
Baker also claimed that many artistes have been bribed with money or position (by the ruling party) but were now struggling to get out. “We don’t have any big names at the moment. But one year down the line, when people see the benefits of this forum, they would come to us. We are confident about that,” Baker added.