On Monday, actor Kasthuri Shankar took to the stage at a protest rally organised by the Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK), a political party headed by former PMK MLA Panruti T Velmurugan for the formation of the Cauvery management board. Ever since, there has been much speculation over her political entry.
As she stood on stage addressing the crowd, Kasthuri made it clear that she was not present there as a 'cinemakaari' and that she had requested TVK founder Velmurugan for the opportunity to personally express solidarity to the demonstration against the delay in the formation of the board. Kasthuri is vocal about political happenings in the state and that is no secret. But her choice to go on this particular stage to declare support for an organisation's protest lead to the speculation of her political entry.
The TVK was in controversy recently for its protests against IPL in Chennai. During the protests that saw many small political groups come together in Chennai, a few IPL fans and police personnel were attacked.
When asked whether she was making a political plunge, Kasthuri said, "I am not part of any political party and have been addressing the Cauvery issue for a long while now. I speak for the common man. There is a dearth of honest politicians who have the people's interest at heart. I too am searching for such a leader."
She further added that she doesn't prescribe to the ideologies of any party in the current political cauldron.
"I chose this stage because it was a multiparty, non denominational and caste blind demonstration," she explained. "If someone stands up for what is fair, how does it matter why they do it?" asks Kasthuri. "The agenda doesn't matter if something good comes out of it," she added.
Last month, the TVK had issued veiled threats against IPL and said that they could not guarantee the safety of IPL players if the matches were held in Chennai. They even went on to warn organisers of violence in the stadium if their demand to shift out the IPL was not agreed to.
"I can't comment on political manoeuvres because not everyone agrees with everything a party does. But Sunday's protest was a role model demonstration," she said. She however clarified that she did not have the share the TVK's view when it came to shifting IPL matches away from Tamil Nadu.
Then what led her to the stage on Sunday?
"Closing off the Marina beach for protests is undemocratic. People's right to protest is being infringed upon and it is important to address the matter," she says.
But what about other opposition parties in the state?
I am not a fan of the DMK's alliance with the Congress. I think less of the Congress than I do of the BJP. Currently the problem is that we have an apathetic central government and an impotent state government," alleged the actor, in the context of the Cauvery issue. "One doesn't want to do anything and other can't do anything."