Smt.Khushbu Sundar, yesteryear movie star and a well known face in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, has switched parties. This time she has moved to the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that runs the country. Nothing wrong in a person joining a political party nor is it uncommon for a movie star to join a party in the movie obsessed state of Tamil Nadu where popular politicians were film stars of yore.
The fact that Khushbu has moved to the supposedly hindu-majority-seeking national party is not what this article is about. It is about the history that needs some clarification and answers from the former actor.
Prior to her political career, Khushbu had commented on the pre-marital sexual status of Tamil girls, was hounded by ultra-secessionist fringe outfits with physical violence, rushed into the embracing arms of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) to find safety, later felt sidelined by the party, shifted places to the nationalist and supposedly ‘secular’ Congress Party, was appointed the national spokesperson, was sidelined by the multitude of factions, a characteristic of the party, and has now moved on to the diametrically opposite BJP.
Does an actor’s migration from politics of one color to the other merit a detailed article, one might ask. In the case of Khushbu, it does.
Khushbu’s utterances since she joined the BJP clearly show that she has joined the party not due to ideological enlightenment but due to lack of a political future in the Congress party that has seen a series of high profile exits after the lackluster performances of the party and its leaders in the last two general elections. With the leadership ensconced in ivory towers that provide little view of the ground situation, and a failed leader who wants to have power without responsibility, the Congress Party, that was founded by an European Allan Octavian Hume is being dragged hastily into its grave by yet another European – Smt.Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. Thus, seeing no future, in the party, Khushbu has jumped boats.
Abandoning ship for ones’ own survival is normal. But in the case of Khushbu, her joining the very party that she has opposed virulently for the last 6 years, is a case for questioning in depth. For this, we would need to look at what she has said in the last 6 years about Prime Minister Modi in particular and the BJP in general.
Has none joined a party that they had opposed so violently? There are plethora of evidence that shows many had done. But the the kind of politics and statements that Khushbu had indulged in, even in the guise of being the national spokesperson for the Congress Party, do call for her to answer.
As late as October 6, 2020, Khushu had called out PM Modi’s act of rearing peacocks at his official residence and had said that the PM who could feed peacocks in his house, could not feed the citizens.After this, on October 11, 2020, she joined the PM’s party, the BJP.
When the BJP formed government in Madhya Pradesh, Khushbu had tweeted thus, saying the Madhya Pradesh cabinet would be constituted by these half clad sadhus, referring to the presence of holy men in the party and government.
On October 1, 2019, Khushbu famously said the that the Prime Minister would not be welcome to Tamil Nadu and one year later, joined the party.
Without having any basic knowledge of the current pandemic induced economic situation and consequent job losses, Khushbu had tweeted thus, accusing the BJP of causing such an unemployment situation of gargantuan proportions. And this was as late as October 4, 2020, six days prior to joining the same party. Even Singapore, the country that Khushbu often vacations in, declared that it was entering into a recession due to the pandemic.
Here is she using derogatory and potentially un-usable language on the BJP Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath on October 4, 2020.
While Khushbu would have to come clean on all the above, she has to make her stand clear on E.V.Ramasamy Naicker, the late rabble-rouser who never missed any opportunity to deride the hindu gods and the hindu pantheon, for she has recently claimed that ‘I am a Periarist in the BJP’ – whatever that might mean.
The BJP in Tamil Nadu needs such star power to get into power in the movie crazy state. But the erstwhile stars who join the party have the responsibility to either disown their earlier statements or offer a public apology for these past sins.
Whether Khushbu offers apology or not, I would be backing the BJP to come to power in the state. I would even vote for her in case the party fields her as a candidate in my constituency ( like I supported any PAP candidate in Singapore). However, the her sins of the past cannot be white washed.