Imagine a congressional election pitting Jay Leno against Simon Cowell. The rough equivalent is happening now in India, where talk-show host Shekhar "Shaker" Suman is running for Parliament against Shatrughan "Shotgun" Sinha, a Bollywood star and judge on a hugely popular talent show. But fame may not help them. The Wall Street Journal tunes in.
"I go [to rallies] because I want to see them up close. But I don't trust them. They're actors," says a taxi driver. Plenty of celebrities have made it in politics in the past few years, though some have succumbed to scandal. Shotgun explains the allure of office: "Glamour has limited power, whereas power has unlimited glamour."