Meet Saayoni Ghosh: The Actor Who Found Her ‘Push Into Politics’
We find out what made Saayoni Ghosh join politics and TMC, and why she loves running around and campaigning on foot.
Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
(This story was first published on 3 April 2021 and is being republished in light of Saayoni Ghosh being appointed as the president of Trinamool Youth Congress.)
The Bengal elections is a ‘star-studded’ one with both the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielding film stars and celebrities across constituencies. One of them is Bengali film actor Saayoni Ghosh who is contesting from Asansol Dakshin for the TMC against BJP’s Agnimitra Paul.
The ever-energetic Ghosh has been seen campaigning mostly on foot across her constituency going door-to-door meeting and greeting the locals. She spends an extra minute if there’s a kid or a senior citizen.
The Quint sets out on a campaign trail with her to find out what made her join politics, what she promises for the people, and why she loves running around and campaigning on foot.
She says that while she’s from Kolkata, she’s here (Asansol) to be their daughter.
Throughout the course of the campaign, Ghosh would go door-to-door asking the locals how they are, giving them a hug, and taking photos with everyone who approached her. Despite it being a sunny day, she constantly had a smile plastered to her face, even though she was walking from 10 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon.
An avid table tennis player back in school, Ghosh claims that politics is not just about herself, unlike table tennis. “It’s about the people,” she adds.
From heels on the red carpet to sneakers on muddy streets, the transition has been “hectic”, where she has to wake up at 7 am and go to sleep at 3 am. But she also calls it a “once in a lifetime experience”.
I have always been an independent actor. I was not the type who would sit in a caravan or in the AC. Even when Didi asked me if I want to do politics, I told her yes I want to do it, but not while sitting in an air-conditioned room. I wanted to be on the road and do politics like her. She walks! She’s a streetfighter. This was the best way that I could do it.Saayoni Ghosh, TMC Candidate
Recently, she was the victim of online trolling and even received death threats for a controversial 2015 tweet. That has been a crucial moment in her life, she claims that while it has “done a lot of damage”, it has also pushed her to “join active politics”.
“It did a lot of damage back then. And more than me, my parents (were affected). Once you are an actor, you get gallons of compliments and people say only good things about you. Specifically me. People say that I am a very ‘likeable’ actor. But the moment I started being vocal politically, and especially when this whole controversy happened, I could see that a rift was created and my audience was divided. Most of them became IT cell cadres. That was really sad because I was annoyed and upset but my parents got majorly affected.”Saayoni Ghosh, TMC Candidate
When asked what she wants to weigh on the celebrities joining politics debate, she smiled and said, “if politicians did their job properly, then we wouldn’t have to join politics.”
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