This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
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USA: Oye! Times readers Get FREE $30 to spend on Amazon, Walmart…Prakash Jha whose last film Satyagraha was a drama on the urgent need for political reform in our nation is currently extending his cinematic preoccupations into his real life.
Prakash is contesting the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections from the Bettiah constituency in Bihar on a Janata Dal-United ticket. Prior to the polling in his constituency on Monday, Prakash undertook a marathon yatra of rural North Bihar as part of his political campaign, going into areas where automobiles, cell phones and computers are unavailable.
In one month Prakash covered 400 villages.
Prakash says, "I traveled to 20-25 villages every day. In each village I spoke to the people for 20-25 minutes. It was the most exhausting expedition of my life. But it was also immensely satisfying. I got to know the pulse of rural Bihar. I've always been close to the people from villages. But this time I feel I am in a world very far removed from Maya Nagri (Bollywood). The glamour world tends to suck you into fantasy, no matter how rooted to reality you are."
This is Prakash's second attempt at contesting the Lok Sabha elections. Apparently he had bid politics goodbye for good. But Bihar's chief-minister Nitish Kumar personally requested him to jump into the fray.
Says Prakash, "I am happy to be joining hands with Nitishji, although it means putting all my concentration and energy on building my own faith and the electorate's confidence in and around my constituency."
The 62-year filmmaker and parliamentarian are traveling through Bihar's most undeveloped hinterland on a vanity van. Which is a bit of a mandatory anomaly.
"There are places where there is no place to sleep or even get a meal. This is how poor rural Indian remains after decades of democracy. I am keeping fit and energized. I work out religiously every morning for two hours no matter where I am. I get my proper hours of sleep. Until the elections are over this is my life."