Ajith asks fans, media not to call him 'Thala'

The actor issued a press release through his PRO, asking that he's only to be called Ajith, Ajith Kumar or AK.
Ajith with sunglasses in Arrambam
Ajith with sunglasses in Arrambam
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In a surprise move, actor Ajith, who is popularly known as 'Thala', has issued a press release through his PRO Suresh Chandra, requesting everyone to stop calling him by the title. In fact, Ajith does not want any prefixes to his name and wishes to be known only as Ajith, Ajith Kumar or just AK.

Addressing the release to the public, media and genuine fans, Ajith's note reads, "I henceforth wish to be referred to as Ajith, Ajith Kumar or Just AK n not as "Thala" or any other prefix b4 my name. I sincerely wish you all to have a beautiful life filled with good health, happiness, success, peace of mind and contentment forever. Love, Ajith (sic)."

Ajith is known as 'Thala' while his closest rival in the Tamil industry, Vijay, is known as 'Thalapathy'. Thala and Thalapathy fans clash often on social media, with abusive hashtags trending several times. It was the 2001 film Dheena that gave Ajith the title 'Thala'. It was around this time that the actor starred in three action films — Dheena, Vaali and Amarkalam. These films marked his transition from a soft, romantic star to an action hero.

Ajith does not have any social media profile and usually communicates through his PRO. He has previously taken a stance against fans indulging in social media abuse. In a strongly-worded statement in 2017, Ajith issued an unconditional apology to those who were targeted by people claiming to be his fans. The statement, which came through his lawyers, read: "Persons misusing our client's name have also been trolling members of the film industry, journalists, critics and other individuals. While it is important to identify such miscreants and hold them accountable, our client unconditionally apologises for any hurt or harm caused."

Although he has a massive fan following, in 2011, Ajith dismantled his fan clubs, stating that he was unhappy about some people misusing his name for political gains. In Tamil Nadu, where fan associations are dime a dozen for the big stars, this came as a surprise.

Ajith's last release was Nekonda Paarvai with H Vinoth. The film is a remake of the Hindi film Pink, and according to the director, Ajith had expressed regret to him for doing films that promoted stalking and crimes against women. His next is Valimai, also directed by H Vinoth. After fans started asking for 'Valimai updates' at random events, including cricket matches, Ajith issued a statement asking them to desist from indulging in such acts.

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