‘Rajinikanth must plunge into active politics’ – this slogan has become the common and constant clamour among his millions of fans. Rajini is indisputably the pioneer in including the new term ‘desire of experience in politics’ that has rather replaced the original term, ‘mere political experience’.
There are innumerable instances that record Rajini’s apparent political wish right from 1995. It was under Jayalalithaa’s rule in Tamil Nadu, Rajini’s blockbuster Bashaa’s victory celebration was in progress. It was the same R.M.Veerappan who was the producer of the Bashaa film as well as one of the ministers in the ruling party. Being oblivious of this fact, Rajini categorically pointed out that the bomb culture had crept into AIADMK party thus digging the grave for RMV. Simultaneously, Rajini was made as a stout opponent of Jayalalithaa. This obviously led the people to think that Rajini would enter into active politics by launching a new party of his own. But, in reality, Rajini, at the instance of his ‘friend, philosopher and guide’ – Cho, supported DMK and its ally Tamil Manila Congress in the then immediate election. Consequently, the DMK won the elections and came to power. Thus the Rajini magic influenced the whole Tamil Nadu in a great measure and this marked the beginning of his passion for entry into active politics, especially with the due influence of his mentor Cho. In addition to this, Rajini, as that of MGR in the yester years, started having dialogues with his fans through his films. To cite an example, in his movie, ‘Muthu’, Rajini addressed the awaiting audience by clearly uttering, “None knows when I would come and how I would come; but I would certainly come at the right time”. This was taken by his fans that he had indicated his entry into politics in no uncertain terms.
Rajini’s mind was not only understood but also exploited to the full extent by the directors of his films. Even the lyricist Vairamuthu had penned a few songs in this line. This further started reflecting as ‘punch’ dialogues in his films. Both his film makers and his fans used to expect such revelations from him. Again, in his popular film ‘Padiappa’ he registered his punch deliveries such as, ‘My path is always unique’ and ‘even if I come late, I would be the latest’.
While Rajini’s fans kept on anticipating his political ambitions in each of his film, Rajini maintained his status as a common personality and not as a supporter of any particular party as such. He too realized the fact that he had a good opportunity in the 90’s during the release of his trade mark film, ‘Baashha’ but at the same time, he had failed to cash in on the same at that point. Cho was also equally responsible for enlightening Rajini on this realization.
In the next phase, Rajini switched over his focus on to the spiritual pursuit which did affect his progress in the tinsel world. Classic example was his film ’Baba’, released in 2002. This movie was a fiasco mainly because of his clear shift from politics to the spiritual path. Personally, Rajini knew both his strengths and weakness. In 1996, he could not contain himself when he was forced to face the press to share his political plans. Hardly could he manage that situation as a result of which he kept on smoking almost continuously!. He did realize that he could not dedicate himself as a full-fledged politician the whole day. At the end of this phase, though Rajini closed his political chapter, his fans continued to trigger him in one way or the other. In one such instance, one of his fan clubs had even started a party with a flag to be promoted by him which had rather astonished himself, in effect.
Thus Rajini’s ambitious political journey now calls for celebration of silver jubilee completion. His fans still eagerly feel that he must at least now mark his presence in politics, especially when the time is ripe with rift in AIADMK and the support of BJP. That the message having been clearly passed on to him that it is more than 10 years since Rajini met his fans, Rajini has now decided to meet his fans directly sometime soon.
In this connection, the opinion of Rajini’s contemporary actress Latha was sought for. She vividly recollected MGR’s political foray along with his tinsel influence. She made many a comparative analyses of both MGR and Rajini and frankly concluded that she was a great well-wisher of Rajini who richly deserved to enter politics as done by MGR.
Latha was very appreciative of Rajini’s traits such as simplicity, humility, straight-forwardness and honesty. However, she expressed her own apprehension as to whether Rajini would be able to tolerate and adjust with the realities of the current times in terms of lack of integrity in public life and the rampant corruption.
There is yet another reason on his personal front which relates to certain recent happenings in his family. In view of these developments also, he is said to be contacting his old and personal friends for necessary consolation. He appears to feel that he will surely get a solace if he meets his fans that is long overdue. The fact that he wants to cheer up his fans in the light of his latest film Endiran 2.0 is also a reason he has in mind. Some do view that this proposed meeting does not otherwise have any political agenda except for the above-cited personal reasons.
Another film industry source strongly opines that Rajini will never come to active politics since, by nature, he would not like to antagonize anyone under any circumstances. Typical example for the above stand on his part is from a very recent happening wherein he had invited the proposed BJP candidate Gangai Amaran for the RK Nagar by-election and the very next day he had clarified that he neither supported any particular person nor party for the RK Nagar by-election. Thus he always prefers to hold a neutral stand to avoid any controversy whatsoever.
Apart from all these, one more reality needs to be understood. There is a difference between MGR and Rajini when it comes to active involvement in politics. When MGR launched his political platform, he was at the helm in his film world. He simply started the party whereas its superstructure was consistently developed and sustained by his fans. If we look at Rajini, his past time fans have already become old enough with their grandchildren and moreover, Rajini does not enjoy the best of his health any longer. These are all certain serious limitations.
Following the demise of Cho early this year. Rajini spoke very high of Cho in the Thuklaq annual meeting, especially about his sharp and successful predictions. He added that for any particular political issue, Cho would be able to give a clear solution and that would ensure absolute clarity. At the time of IPL launch in the past, Cho suggested that Rajini should venture on the same as it would be a very lucrative business in future. Rajini liberally acknowledged and praised Cho’s prediction in as much as the fact that IPL subsequently proved to be a big time business for the investors.
To conclude, it is obvious that Rajini hitherto kept himself aloof from active politics as advised by his mentor Cho and it does seem that he would enter into politics if only his Guru Cho comes back and advises him to do so.
(This article originally appeared in Tamil in vikatan.com on 4th April 2017 written by s. kirubakaran)