One comfort is, that Great Men, taken up in any way, are profitable company. We cannot look, however imperfectly, upon a great man, without gaining something by him. He is the living light-fountain, which it is good and pleasant to be near. The light which enlightens, which has enlightened the darkness of the world; and this not as a kindled lamp only, but rather as a natural luminary shining by the gift of Heaven; a flowing light-fountain, as I say, of native original insight, of manhood and heroic nobleness;—in whose radiance all souls feel that it is well with them. – The Project Gutenberg E Book of Heroes and Hero Worship, by Thomas Carlyle.
Actors portrayed as heroes in celluloid must have a radiance that attracts people to them as magnets and a charisma that instills a feeling of wellness in them when they are around or near them. Nothing else could explain the concept of hero worship of actors in the 21st century as the modern generation are well aware that the heroic qualities attributed to them are a figment of the director’s imagination and are unreal. The cut outs of senior superstars and junior superstars are a testimony to the fact that hero worship has not diminished even by an iota. Popularity of super stars are directly proportional to the size of their cut out. The larger the cut out the greater the fan base.
I was quick to correct my misconception that only senior superstars had cut outs as there are irreplaceable tycoons in the film industry whose ageing did not decrease their glamour or popularity.
The culture of hero cut out is more prevalent in the south than in the northern parts of India. The Indian film industry fan base do not discriminate between genders. If there are cut outs for heroes there are temples and shrines for heroines or actresses. Actresses like Kushboo, Mamta Kulkarni, Nagma, Namita Pooja Umashankar etc. have temples in their names in different parts of India with the exception of Pooja Umashankar who is the only actress to have a temple in her name in a foreign country, Sri Lanka.
International film stars or larger than life Hollywood film industry have not attached any significance to this art form or culture. Should we feel elated about the cut out culture, which is an indication of our hero worship as people continue to look upon actors as demi-gods? Should we be concerned about leaving reality behind a century ago and have failed to move ahead with the changes in time?