Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014

What’s in a name? An identity crisis for actor-politicians

woman-main TMC’s Moon Moon Sen waves to supporters in Bankura, Friday. Most of the voters don’t know that her real name is Srimati Dev Varma.
Press Trust of India | Kolkata | Posted: May 3, 2014 5:37 am | Updated: May 3, 2014 5:38 am

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare wondered, but two Tollywood stars contesting the Lok Sabha election in West Bengal have found to their dismay that voters are getting confused between their real names and screen names.

Legendary screen goddess Suchitra Sen’s daughter Moon Moon Sen’s real name is Srimati Dev Varma while reigning Bengali film superstar Dev’s real name is Dipak Adhikary. The real names of both will appear in the EVM along with party symbols.

Both are contesting on Trinamool Congress tickets.

Local party leaders say they fear that since the EVMs will only have the candidate’s real name along with the party symbol, some voters may get confused during casting votes.

“In films, TV serials and ‘jatras’ (folk theatres), I am better known as Moon Moon Sen. But my mother had named me Srimati and Moon Moon both. My voter card bears the name Srimati Dev Varma,” the 60-year-old actress told voters in Bankura from where she is contesting.

Even her daughters Raima and Riya, both actresses, have emphasised on her mother’s real name as they joined her in campaigning.

When asked, Sen admits that it is an issue but says that right from the beginning of her campaign, party workers have been informing voters about her real name.

“Not only people, but we are also surprised to know that her real name is not Moon Moon Sen. We are taking care of this in our campaign as it takes time for people to get acquainted with a new name. I cannot suddenly tell people that Moon Moon Sen is not Moon Moon Sen,” a local Trinamool leader said.

Sen is contesting against nine-time sitting CPM MP Basudeb Acharya.

Dev, who has given a number of Bengali superhit films like ‘Paglu’, ‘Challenge’ and ‘Chander Pahar’ in the last few years, is also facing the same challenge as he contests from his hometown seat of Ghatal in West Midnapore district. He admits that even some of his die-hard fans don’t know that his real name happens to be Dipak Adhikary.

In Ghatal constituency, largely a rural belt, his popularity is immense but party workers are having a tough time in telling everyone that Dipak Adhikary is the candidate and not Dev. The 32-year-old star is, however, upbeat: “You see my fans remember the name of the characters I played in my films, so it will not be tough for them to remember me as Dipak Adhikary.”

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