Every year, Diwali brings with it, two inescapable things: terrible air quality, and a Vijay film. I’m on the fence about what was more suffocating this Diwali — the air, or Vijay’s Sarkar.
Sarkar was touted as the ‘biggest blockbuster for 2018’, and was marketed accordingly: Promo song with unintelligible lyrics and catchy tune — check; plagiarism row — check; threats from a political party in Tamil Nadu to censor the film — check; The will-he-won’t-he cliffhanger of Vijay’s real life political ambitions — all present and correct.
Despite all it had going for it, Sarkar turned out to be a mediocre film. The one aspect in which it did stand out? It serves as an excellent tutorial on ‘how to become a politician in India’.
Lesson 1: Ignorance is bliss
As we learn by watching Vijay’s character in Sarkar, you can be a hyper-patriotic NRI but must have no clue about grassroots problems in India, to make a success of your political career.
This leads us to…
Lesson 2: When in doubt, gaslight your way out
Ignorance of your constituency’s concerns could trip up even the suavest of aspiring politcos. How then, do you navigate these troubled waters?
The first step — deflect.
When asked for basic information, launch into a long-winded story that’s completely unrelated to the matter at hand.