Actor and filmmaker Upendra is known for his maverick filmmaking and also his radical thoughts. He has also made his foray into politics, albeit with a twist. Here’s looking at him unplugged on his views on politics.
On democracy and social media
Democracy means everyone should have their own opinions and that they should express. Social media has played a catalyst in putting forward everyone’s opinions. Media or the control is not in someone’s hands today. It is an open forum, so it is good. At the same time, with advantage, there is disadvantage too. It is like a pendulum, there are the positives on one side and the negatives on the other. This is the beauty of life, where you get to see both sides of a coin.
On his idea of people-tics
I have maintained I am not in politics, but I am in people-tics. When someone sees the traffic jams, pollution and migration of villagers of cities due to improper facilities and inadequate infrastructure and opportunities, the problems push people into politics. If someone does everything good where you are, then why will you go elsewhere. For me, looking at the problems and seeing scope for betterment is what has pushed me to politics.
I believe the leader does not need to stand on a podium away from people and make lofty politics. I look at a leader as someone who stands with the people, is among them and understands their situations. A leader is a worker. A leader should be born from among the people. But, once he is chosen as a leader, he should become a worker. But, we see a big gap between a leader and the people, which is the biggest problem our country is facing.
On politics without frills
Big speeches, banners, posters and promises have been done to death and people are tired too. I want to directly indulge in dialogues with people without any of the usual shenanigans. What has happened is that around 20% of the people in the society are part of the existing political machinery, seeing how the society has not benefited as much, but the majority 80% keeps quiet as they have no other option. But when they get someone who talks to them, without any tall tales, why won’t they listen. We have been conditioned to elections being about big campaigns, I am confident it can change.
On his idea of change
We are so used to seeing problems arise and then finding a way to work over it. What is required is proper foresight. We need to act earlier and prevent a situation, rather than stop it after the problem arises. This is the mentality we need right now. We cannot live with just our clean homes. We are a society that needs to collectively be clean for the next generations.