On August 20, a public meeting in Trichy will discuss ‘Why should Rajinikanth come to politics? What compels him?’. Neither Rajinikanth nor his fan clubs will be part of the meeting, but debating Rajinikanth’s entry into politics would be his close friend and politician Tamilaruvi Manian of the Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam.
Tamilaruvi Manian, believes Rajinikanth has decided that it is time to enter politics and would announce his own political party.
“I had very lengthy discussions with him. We have discussed all political and social issues and about solutions. He is clear about it, he will launch his own party sooner or later, he is preparing the blue print,” Tamilaruvi Manian told TNM in an interview.
But this isn’t the first that there have been talk of Rajinikanth taking the political plunge, and even Tamilaruvi Manian is unsure of when the announcement will come.
“I can’t say when he will come, it depends on the political situation. There is a political vacuum in the state following Jayalalithaa’s death and Karunanidhi becoming inactive. People are looking for a change. For nearly 50 years Dravidian parties have been in power, they made corruption a part of life, they have undermined all public structures. People expect and need a messiah. And Rajinikanth will be that messiah,” Tamilaruvi Manian said.
Many political analysts in Tamil Nadu believe that Rajinikanth’s time to enter politics and create an impact is over. The superstar could have made a fantastic debut, if he had chosen to do so two decades ago, they believe.
But Tamilaruvi Manian counters this argument. “Had he come to politics in 1996, he would have been a failure. Both Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa were powerful. He could not have fought with both of them at the same time. The situation is different now, there is no charismatic leader to counter Rajinikanth. This is the appropriate time for him to enter politics,” the Gandhian pointed out.
Though Rajinikanth has been vocal about certain issues, the people of Tamil Nadu are largely unaware of what he believes in and what policies he is likely to adopt. Many politicians like Anbumani have pointed out that Rajinikanth has hardly spoken up on issues that concern the public.
“He has his ideas and agendas, I have had discussions with him over this. He has three main agendas- interlinking rivers from Mahanadi to Cauvery. Giving a clean, corruption free government and maintaining transparency. He even told me that only Anna and Kamaraj are his models and would emulate them,” Tamilaruvi Manian said.
He also took a dig at actor Kamal Haasan who has been in the news for his outspokenness. “Silence speaks volumes. What is the impact of Kamal going on speaking? Rajinikanth has his own plans, he is preparing his ground, what is the point of just speaking?”
Will Rajinikanth join the BJP? “No”, comes the emphatic answer.
“It is quite natural for every political party to exploit things in their favour. Definitely the party which runs the government at the centre will want to have ties with him. But, he will not join the BJP, as of now he is not in the mood. But he wants to have co-operation and assistance from the central government,” he said.
Tamilaruvi Manian believes Kamal Haasan is being vocal only to defend himself from critics of Bigg Boss.
“You see Kamal has his own problems with Bigg Boss, many sections are opposing it. There is a general feeling that Bigg Boss corrupts our culture. In a press meet he made a passing reference on AIADMK government and ministers reacted to it. He raised his banner of revolt, beyond that I think there is no politics as far as Kamal is concerned. Maybe DMK will ask for his support, but I don’t think he will extend that l just because he stood on the dais at the Murasoli event,” he said.
He also had a word of caution for Kamal. “For more than four decades, Kamal and Rajinikanth have kept a distance from all political parties. If Kamal supports DMK, he will lose moral authority to speak about corruption and the system. The system was not corrupted by Jayalalithaa or O Panneerselvam alone, it started from Karunanidhi. The fountainhead of corruption has been DMK, and in the past 50 years the system has degenerated day by day . He is an intellectual actor, I don’t think he would do it.”
Over the past few months, many youngsters in Tamil Nadu have come together for issues like Jallikattu and hydro carbon projects. Will these youth of Tamil Nadu, who are now speaking up for various social issues, want to opt for an actor?
“Only a small percent believe actors should not become politicians. Take jallikattu, lakhs of people came. What happened in Neduvasal or Kathiramangalam? What happened to the youth? Why didn’t they assemble in these two location? Jallikattu protest was like a kumba mela, supported by the govt itself. When the government itself turned against protestors in the last two days, the youth developed cold feet. I firmly believe the youth will support Rajinikanth. Actor Vijay has lakhs of fans who are young and they will stand with Rajinikanth. Most disillusioned AIADMK workers will also vote for Rajinikanth,” he concluded.