Why Did Uttam Kumar Never Go To The Polling Booth To Vote?

Renowned actor Mahanayak Uttam Kumar was a household name in Bengal, revered by legions of fans. Yet, despite his iconic status, he never graced the polling booths on election days. His absence puzzled many, prompting questions about his political inclinations and civic responsibilities.

Uttam Kumar's aversion to public appearances stemmed from a desire to avoid stirring up an unnecessary frenzy among his admirers. His reticence was such that even his closest associate, Subhendu Chatterjee, once recounted an incident where Uttam Kumar declined to step out of his car near a petrol pump, fearing a mob of fans.

However, despite his reluctance to appear in public, Uttam Kumar did exercise his voting rights. But his approach was unconventional. Instead of queuing up at the polling booths like ordinary citizens, he opted for a special arrangement. Gaurav Chatterjee, his nephew, revealed in a recent interview that Uttam Kumar would cast his vote from the comfort of his home. Similar to how government officials deploy postal ballots, Uttam Kumar utilised a provision that allowed him to vote remotely.

This special arrangement was a result of Uttam Kumar's prior employment with the Port Trust before his illustrious acting career took off. Even after transitioning to acting full-time, the government continued to extend this privilege to him, recognising the potential disruptions his presence could cause at polling stations due to overcrowding and management challenges.

Uttam Kumar's case sheds light on the complexities of balancing celebrity status with civic duties. Ultimately, Uttam Kumar's story serves as a reminder that participation in democracy takes various forms, each deserving of recognition and respect.

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