Big names of South India cinema namely MGR, NTR, Rajnikant, Kamal Hassan, Chiranjivee, Mohan Babu are household names with global Indian community. The rise of Allu Arjun is likely to script similar success story. Allu rose up the ladder since his debut in Tollywood and has never looked back. Allu Arjun soon began riding the wave of success and landed blockbuster films such as ‘Arya’, ‘Bunny’, ‘Happy’, ‘Arya 2’, ‘Race Gurram’, ‘S/O Satyamurthy’, ‘Sarrainodu’, ‘DJ’ and many others. On the surface, his road to superstardom has been enviably easy marking to be the next superstar in the industry. He burns up the screen with his energy that spikes out in all direction, sweeping you up with its force even in casual encounter.
He is the only South Indian actor whose movies have reached the Rs 100 crore club thrice. His Hindi dubbed movies have collectively surpassed 530 million views on YouTube and have a huge crossover appeal across India especially in Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and among other states. Today, his fan following is increasing by every minute and so is the number of filmmakers wanting to sign him. What’s more he has hit a beautiful equation in his personal life as well. Riding the crest of his huge fans followers of 12.7 million in Facebook alone making him the highest among any South Indian actor and many Bollywood stars. Opinion Express is experimenting with a shift from political to entertainment cover story.
Secondly we are reporting in depth assessment of Modi wave in the country: How has the Republic fared with Prime Minister Narendra Modi steering the country towards the general election of 2019? It has been a mixed record, with the willingness to take decisions trumped by ideological blinkers and a propensity to think of the virtues of Ram Rajya. The Sangh Parivar leadership has not quite reconciled itself regarding how far to take the concept of Hindutva in ruling a heterogeneous and multi-ethnic country. Two major decisions merit attention — the sudden move for demonetisation of a huge chunk of our currency and the hasty introduction of the Goods and Services Tax. The first decision was Mr Modi’s own prescription for the evils of black money and it has badly misfired, slowing down the economy, while the GST, an essential measure that earlier Congress governments had failed to bring in, was imposed somewhat post-haste. The demonetisation scheme was essentially Mr Modi’s idea, and although he talked it up as a kind of poor man’s revenge against the rich, the poor suffered the most. There has been no suggestion of apology on Mr Modi’s behalf on slowing down the economy and its numerous other consequences.
In the field of foreign policy, Mr Modi has built on the country’s record, considerably enhancing ties with Israel and becoming the first Indian PM to unreservedly welcome Israel into the hall of nations. Mr Modi has decided that India’s defence and geopolitical links with the Jewish state are important enough to be concentrated and the risks minimal as the Sunni monarchies are also reaching out to it. Does Mr Modi have a roadmap beyond the victory post-2019? Judging by his exertions in Davos and elsewhere, he is rustling up plans for a major internal manufacturing spree on the basis of abundant foreign investment. But circumstances have to be propitious for such investment because men with money and resources have options. The country will enter a new phase after the 2019 polls, and it will be an entirely new ballgame.
Prashant Tewari: Editor-in-Chief