There’s something about sports stars and artistes entering politics. They’ve got the traits, so why not eh?
Celebrities such as sports stars and artistes who have entered politics have done well enough to at least be remembered for their stint in government – Imran Khan, the terminator and President Ronald Reagan just to name a few. Add to that our very own Beauty Queen, One Shot (he tried) and Captain Cool.
And with the trend set to continue, there’s both the good and bad of stars turning to politicians.
Golden girl Susanthika Jayasinghe, former opening batsman and master blaster, Sanath Jayasuriya and Actress Geetha Kumarasinghe are among the celebrities vying for the vote at this year’s General Elections.
Of course, it’s anyone’s right to enter politics – to serve his/her country. And, in certain exceptional cases if you’ve got the guts and thugs, there’s so much so that you can do in politics. Thus, politics is indeed attractive, not to mention disastrous (that is, only if you fail or get into the ‘other’ side). Yet, it’s perfect for the retired popular and rich.
So, why not become politicians?
Here is a bunch of people who are possibly looking for a second career – a career, something to do once their place in sports or arts has been taken over. They are at their retirement stage. They can’t bat or run or act forever, can they? They can, but it probably wouldn’t be at the same level, or at same position in the team. Life’s tough, there’s competition and new guys will come into the picture. Well, these stars can venture into other associated fields – like coaching or as referring or as commentators (like some sports stars have done), for instance, but it’s probably not their thing.
What’s more is that they’ve got a whole lot of characteristics, similar to that of a politician, already groomed and garnered over years of practice – energy, competitiveness, strength, ability to fight opposition and above all, the most important ones – money and popularity. What can’t be done now?
Popularity and money are essential for a successful political career. These sports stars and artistes are household names in Sri Lanka. They are known for their accomplishments. Also, especially the stars who came from rural areas are well aware of the hardships faced by the villagers, the very places they grew up in and will be their voice, work for them, while also working towards uplifting the profession they were once part of. Thus, they can build on this popularity and people will listen to them. This way, they can also be seen an asset to the party itself. They also have the cash. That makes life so much easier. They don’t need to go begging, hopefully or be committed to filling their own pockets as time goes on.
Yet, no doubt, these great stars have brought a lot of glory and honour to this country, both at a national and international level. But, are they really up for this game in politics?
Politics is a hard game to play. When in it, there’s a certain way to get about it, if you want to run for a second term. Yes, that’s the sad truth, especially now that the trend is bound to continue.
So, are they up for it? By coming into politics, what’s the message they are sending? Do they want to be associated along the same corrupt lines? Will they become that? Or, will they actually do some good? Do they even know how the political system work?
Are they heading towards self-destruction?
What happens if they fail? Or join another party? Will they just be labeled a ‘traitor’, their deeds forgotten?
Is it right for them still play cricket (for instance) while serving in government? Are they letting down their team? Can they handle a dual role? A minister and opening batsman?
On the other hand, what’s the real motive? Serving the country or survival? There’s talk that campaigning for so and so will guarantee the position in a certain team.
But I guess, it’s just a waiting game all over again.