May 27, 2018, 10:54 pm IST
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Would Rajanikanth lead the race?

Would Rajanikanth lead the race?

P S Joseph, Jun 18, 2017

Once again the talk of the superstar of Tamil cinema donning the political mantle is thrilling the state. In a state where even a small gesture of the actor would be interpreted in different ways ,Tamil matinee idol Rajani Kanth`s recent offer of Rs. one crore to the agitating farmers of Tami Nadu who visited him at his invitation, is sending his fans to greater expectations. After the demise of Jayalalithaa , who towered over Tamil Nadu like an unquestioned queen , there are no greater leaders of stature to lead them .At this juncture the members of his fan club are looking at him to take the political mantle.BJP which doesn’t have a visible face in the state wants him as their sure face in case an election happens, which of course can be triggered as a fragile government is heading Tamil Nadu right now . But in a very polarized political world where every party is expectantly looking for power , there are so many odds against him unlike earlier years when his role was more or less defined.

Though he has not even now opened up on his real agenda and expressed his desire to lead a political front, his words and gestures give the hint that he is testing waters. His cinemas played around the theme and every cinema has given such an indirect hint saying anytime he would enter politics. “If god is willing even tomorrow I would join the political stream, he said. His cinemas are full of references to his love for holding power , he has played spotless characters in the mould of old kings who dispense justice for all . Padayappa,Annamalai or take any film the reference to the gaddi is an unwritten ruleime with any director and lyricists.

But what of the real RajaniKanth who has once taken on a corrupt Jayalalithaa government in 1995 saying “if Tamil Nadu elects her once again not even god wont forgive them”.’ It was a very provocative slogan which has broken even the Indian National Congress and helped in the formation of TMC and it ended up with getting a TMC- DMK alliance win . If he had taken the political mantle and led an alliancet against Jayalaithaa , most probably he would have won as he was the much needed political alternative at the particular time .He has lost the chance and has retreated into his home, his films, and personal life. Age also has caught up with him.

Why hasn’t he taken the plunge at that time.Nobody knows. His personal equation with the DMK leader Karunanidhi or his own feeling that he is not a Tamilian by birth or his love for a relatively calm life would have driven him to a wait and watch policy.

But politics is a strong current which would carry anybody who swim against the tide. With political parties based on caste and cinema ,led by cine stars like Vijayakanth coming into fray, the Dravida politics witnessed a big churning. With such shrewd politicians like Jayalaithaa and Karunanidhi it was very difficult for Rajanikanth to wade through.

But the death of Jayalaithaa and the coming of MK Stalin as opposition leader and Paneerselvam,d Edappadi and Sashikala have changed all. Now he is in a better position to have a fight especially since the BJP government in Delhi is supportive of Rajanikanth But Would the Dravida forces have a truck with him?

Rajanikanth knows very well that wooing Tamilians outside cinema is a tough call. He has given one crore for the interlinking of the rivers in India but nobody knows how his good intentions are rewarded. Now his offer of one crore to the farmers have given a slight hint that he might plunge into politics

If he enters it, it could rewrite the political landscape of Tamilnadu for a long time

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