Manmathan began contesting elections in 1989 from Sivakasi constituency.

This Rajinikanth fanatic who took on Jayalalithaa now wants to teach Vijayakant a lessonImage: Manmathan with Rajinikanth
news TN 2016 Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - 09:39

It isn’t just an election or two, but for 27 long years, M Manmathan from Virudhunagar district has contested in every Assembly poll, all in the hope to see superstar Rajinikanth join politics. For the 62-year-old, every election is about Rajinikanth,  and only about him.

He was a supporter of former Tamil Nadu chief minister MG Ramachandran. But after his death in 1987, Manmathan says he accepted Rajinikanth as his “thalaivar” (leader).

Manmathan feels both MGR and Rajinikanth are very similar. “I feel Rajinikanth has the same charisma among people and he can work for the welfare of the people in Tamil Nadu,” says Manmathan.

He adds, “Both Rajinikanth and MGR never talk about religion in their movies. That is what I really like about them.”   

Manmathan began contesting elections in 1989 from Sivakasi constituency. 

Till 1996, he was not focused on defeating any contestant. But when Rajinikanth made the statement, “If Jayalalithaa comes to power, no one can save Tamil Nadu,” it was enough for Manmathan to contest against Jayalalithaa. He has since contested against her thrice, from Andipatti, Srirangam and Bargur.

He has also gone to jail for one month for his leader. "Rajinikanth spoke against Jayalalithaa, so I said that I will burn her effigy. I was arrested and kept in prison for one month," he says.

He has also contested against MDMK leader Vaiko and actress Sridevi's father Ayappan Yanger in the past.

His hope has not dwindled in the last 27 years. "I stand for my leader Rajinikanth and if I continue to fight the elections for him, he might one day join politics," he says.

For Manmanthan, Rajinikanth's gestures are enough for him to believe his leader will join politics one day. "Earlier Rajinikanth used to respond to the question of joining politics by raising his hands and saying, 'God knows when I'll come to politics'. Now he folds his hand and gives a smile," he explains.

Now, he does not want to stand against Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi. Why? "Rajinikanth has good relations with them. So, I do not want to stand against them," he says.

His love for Rajinikanth is much more than contesting elections for him. "My second son was born on the day Ejamaan (Rajinikanth's movie) released. I named him Madurai Vaanavaraayan because that is the name of Rajinikanth in the movie,” he says.

When asked how many times he has met Rajinikanth? He recounts excitedly, “Three times, 1984, 1996 and 2008."

Describing his experience, he says, “I was struggling to become an actor from 1976 to 1985, that time I met Rajinikanth when he was shooting for a Hindi movie ‘Gangvaa’ in Okkiyampet."

The second time, he met him when Rajini was voice-recording for his movie Muthu in 1996 and the last time he met him was in 2008 when all the Rajinikanth fans met the actor.

What if you win the elections? “That is not possible. In our days, people used to ask for street lights now people directly ask how much will you pay for my vote,” he says.

But that does not stop him from contesting against Vijayakant who made a statement against Rajinikanth two weeks ago. "To teach him a lesson, I'll contest in Ulundurpet. I will be filing my nomination in three days."


News, views and interviews- Follow our election coverage.

Click TN Election Special

Click Kerala Election Special


Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.