Celebrity activism

The two debaters seem to argue with the presumption that celebrity political activism’s utility as a social good is unchallengeable (OpEd, ‘Parley’: “Should celebrities avoid political activism?”, January 17). Since one cannot talk politics without taking sides, most celebrities pick up politically correct and popular causes rather than fearlessly speak truth to power. For instance, Kerala’s stars have rarely spoken against political violence that snuffs out innocent lives and lockouts that violate the freedoms of ordinary citizens.

Instead of wasting their time in chasing unproductive and acrimonious political issues, the stars can perform as part-time social activists. Why don’t the stars use their popularity to shine the spotlight on social issues such as the high rate of road accidents, women’s safety in public spaces, harassment of women in workplaces, the need to wean the society away from intoxicants, sexual violence against children, the importance of blood donation, educating teenagers to negotiate their relationships, etc?

Social activism is also a safer sanctuary than political activism, as it poses no threat to the careers of luminaries. This is not to say that celebrities should be apolitical; it is only that social activism unifies people and makes a lasting impact on society.

V.N. Mukundarajan,



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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 12:19:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/celebrity-activism/article30589394.ece

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