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India Movies

Mammootty, Mohanlal and Kerala Politics

Mollywood super stars – Mammootty and Mohanlal have reached several peaks in their individual film career of more that three decades. Apart from their exceptional contribution to Malayalam film industry, both of them are successful businessman, environmentalist, humanitarian ambassadors and more importantly they care for the betterment of Keralites.

Mammootty is a film actor, producer and has acted in more than 320 films. He bagged several awards for his outstanding performance. These include 3 National awards, four State awards and eight Filmfare Awards in the best actor category. In 1998, the Government of India honored him with Padma Shri for his outstanding work to Indian cinema and the University of Kerala honored him by giving a honorary doctorate in 2008.

Mammootty is also the Chairman of Malayalam Communications, which operates Malayalam TV channels – Kairali TV, People TV and WE TV. Mammootty has promoted humanitarian causes throughout Kerala, and he is the Goodwill Ambassador of the Akshaya project. Mammootty is now appearing in a new role on television. He was seen giving tips on ways to master the computer keyboard or browse the internet.

Mammootty recently said:

If we manage to reach the benefits of information technology to the entire population, we would be able to raise ourselves to the levels of a developed society. I understand that the Akshaya project has been launched with this objective. I am sure this unique project will go to make the State a fully empowered knowledgeable society.

Mammootty is involved in more than half a dozen philanthropic projects aimed at helping the needy people.

Mammootty is the ambassador of a charity project, aiming at the eradication of Child abuse and Child labor. Actor Mammootty has taken over as the national ambassador of Street India Movement, an organization formed recently to fight child labor and child begging.

Mammootty met with the officials of the Dubai Internet City and proposed Smart City project at Kochi,  which will be a reaolity soon in the investment-starved state. This project could potentially bring over 90,000 jobs in the Information Technology and allied sectors in Kerala. However, the much-talked about Rs.15 billion – IT project, has been in a limbo since the new V.S. Achuthanandan government took over last May.

Mohanlal Vishwanathan Nair (born May 21, 1960), popularly known as Mohanlal or Lal, is a film actor and producer, who works mainly in Malayalam cinema. He is a four-time National Award winner. In 2001 the Government of India honored him with the Padmashri for his contributions towards Indian cinema. In 2009, he was conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel by the Indian Territorial Army.

Mohanlal is best known for his movie roles of the late 80s and early 90s. His most notable roles include Solomon in Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal, Dasan in Nadodikkattu, Jayakrishnan in Thoovanathumbikal, Vishnu in Chithram, Sethu Madhavan in Kireedam, Gopi in Bharatham, Mangalassery Neelakandan in Devasuram.

He was elected as the Most Popular Keralite in a survey conducted by the National news channel CNN-IBN related to the Golden Jubilee of Kerala formation in 2006.

During this period of his career, film makers cashed in on the immense popularity that Mohanlal enjoyed in Kerala by portraying him as an invincible larger-than-life hero in movies.

It was at this time that Mohanlal started getting noticed outside the Malayalam speaking world. He acted in his first non-Malayalam movie when popular director Mani Ratnam roped him in for the Tamil film Iruvar. It had Mohanlal playing MGR, a cult figure in the neighbor state of Tamil Nadu.

Pride of Keralites

Kerala has remained unique among the southern states in the fact that there have been no major entry into politics from its movie world. While neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh states have seen quite a few succesful political careers from member of the entertainment fraternity, Kerela’s political fibre has had little or no influence from its movie industry.

One may argue that this a healthy trend, however looking at the states performance in terms of development – I doubt if Kerala is living up to its potential. So far Kerala is way behind in industrial and IT development compared to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh or Karnataka. Though literacy rate in Kerala is far higher than the other three southern states, its infrastructure growth has been poor. While individual entrepreneurial spirit of Keralites has been admirable, the benefits has not been realized by the state or its people as such.

The Congress and Communist leaders of Kerala have been keel only to remain loyal to their high command in Delhi and it appears that Kerala politics is yet to produce a leader with mass following – A leader who puts Kerala’s progress above other priorities. Some one the Keralites can truly regard as the “Pride of Kerala”.

While it has become an acceptable norm for sons and daughters of party leaders to get groomed for leadership roles and are seen taking key roles in government machinery even prior to working in the grass-root level, I don’t understand why members of the entertainment Industry who have risen due to their own talent and hard-work have to be looked down in politics.

It will be interesting if Mammootty or Mohanlal – either one of them steps up and splashes Kerala politics with some new paint – one that will turn it from being a boring flop movie into a super hit.

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