Will superstar Rajinikanth join politics or not? This question is hovering in the minds of the common people in Tamil Nadu.
With proponents like late Jayalalithaa and ailing Nonagenarian DMK supremo M Karunanidhi not in the current dispensation, Rajinikanth’s fans have faith in him that he is the only one who can take the responsibility well.
Rajinikanth recently gave some hints on the possibility of his joining politics. His indecisive statements has triggered discussions among various circles and this is not for the first time.
In 1996 also this kind of excitement was seen when he openly defied Jayalalithaa. He asked people not to vote for her.
The DMK-TMC registered a landslide victory and ‘Amma’ lost the Assembly elections.
Having had his run-ins with the powers that be in the past, the actor has come a long way from his first outburst in 1996 when he said “even God can’t save Tamil Nadu” if AIADMK was elected again.
In the succeeding political developments, he backed the DMK-TMC (Tamil Maanila Congress, led by the late G K Moopanar) combine, which also cashed in on the severe anti-incumbency against the ruling AIADMK.
However the momentum was not kept by the combine as AIADMK. It was a good comeback by the AIADMK in the 1998 Parliamentary polls.
In the meantime, the actor continued to give some hints of a political entry in his ‘Baba’ (2002), which also saw Dr S Ramadoss-founded PMK go up in arms against his on screen smoking.
While the actor in his movie Baba (2002), continued to give some hints of a political entry. The film also saw Dr S Ramadoss-founded PMK go up in arms against his on screen smoking.
The film deals with the lead role’s transformation from a carefree atheist to a believer. The plot talks about the actor’s encounter with a sly politician.
In the film, Rajinikanth bats for a particular clean politician but soon after the man is killed, the actor is shown approaching the people, hinting he would lead them.
The film also enraged Ramadoss, who accused Rajinikanth of misleading the youth with his unique cigarette flinching style, among other gimmicks.
However, whenever his fans have been vocal or proactive about his political plunge, the actor has either remained silent or distanced himself away from the topic.
Twice his supporters and actors have come out in the open floating some ‘party’ or ‘outfit’ in a bid to pressure Rajini, as he is fondly called, to enter politics .
It is not uncommon for his fans across the state to frequently put up posters urging him to come and ‘lead’ and ‘save’ Tamil Nadu.
Even party flags had been launched by some fans in the past, but the actor had either remained silent or distanced himself away from fans who resorted to such actions.
Many political parties, barring AIADMK, had been wooing him. However, he was on good terms with Jayalalithaa in the recent past and had even rued he had ‘hurt’ her back in 1996 by being critical of her.
In his latest comments, Rajinikanth had said he had no desire to joins politics, but if he did, he would show the door to all “money-minded” people.
He was often dragged into political debates despite stressing that he was “neither an influential political leader nor a social activist.”
“My name has been dragged into politics for the past two decades. I am pushed to clarify during every election that I’m not affiliated to any political party,” he had said early this week.
Incidentally, in his film ‘Muthu’ (1995), he mouthed lyrics in a song saying “why should I launch a party now, (but) its only time will tell that.”
Tamil cinema has always had close links with politics, with matinee idols, the late MG Ramachandran (MGR) and J Jayalalithaa, besides script writer M Karunanidhi, having gone to rule the state.
Ramachandran, in particular, was seen as one converting his huge popularity into a springboard for his political launch, which was as successful as his cinema career.
Rajini fans are eagerly waiting to see if their ‘Thalaivar’ (Leader) will do an encore like MGR.
Meanwhile, the Bhartiya Janata Party, whose top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi are said to enjoy good relations with the ‘superstar’, has welcomed the idea of the actor joining their fold.
“We welcome if he comes to politics. We will also welcome if he comes (joins) to BJP,” state BJP leader and Union Minister of state Pon Radhakrishnan said recently.
Incidentally, Modi met Rajinikant at his Poes Garden residence in 2014 when he visited Chennai.
(With PTI inputs)