Mumbai: Did Arvind Kejriwal, now Delhi’s Chief Minister, pass up a lead role in a Bollywood film over two years ago?
An email exchange from October 2012, purportedly between filmmaker K C Bokadia and Mr Kejriwal, has recently been released to the media by sources and appears to contain two requests from Mr Bokadia that the taxman-turned-politician star in a film he was directing.
The first in the exchange of mails, apparently from Mr Bokadia, reads: “It is my desire to cast you as a protagonist in my upcoming movie, in the role of a Journalist. He is like the hero of my film, who stands his guard against the corrupt politicians. The movie is called ‘Dirty Politics’, it an ambitious film with an impressive artist line up. I humbly request you to give consideration to act in my film. It will enhance your image further. I will be very happy to narrate the character sketch in person.”
Mr Kejriwal purportedly replied the next day declining the offer citing his newly-formed Aam Aadmi Party: “I am really flattered by your offer. I am a very small person. I have been a great admirer of your films. However, you would have heard that we have launched our new political party. I am neck deep into it. Our goal is to clean up this dirty politics. Therefore, I am really sorry I won’t be able to take out time for the film.”
Mr Bokadia is believed to have urged Mr Kejriwal to reconsider in a second mail, writing: “Please reconsider my offer, to play one of the important characters of ‘the fearless journalist’, I need only 7 precious days of yours.”
Mr Bokadia, producer of the hit Pyar Jhukta Nahin and director of ’90s films like Aaj Ka Arjun, eventually cast Naseeruddin Shah in the role he had offered Mr Kejriwal.
Dirty Politics also stars Mallika Sherawat, Om Puri and Anupam Kher. It is now ready for release, at about the same time as Arvind Kejriwal scripted and starred in a political blockbuster, leading AAP to a 67 seat of 70 victory in the Delhi election. Mr Kejriwal now presides over the newly-formed Delhi government as Chief Minister – a leading role that far outshines any that Bollywood might have on offer for him.