As Nadigar Sangam, or the South Indian Film Artists Association, went to polls on Sunday, an interesting shadowboxing match it seems was going on in the background.
Far more interesting than the showdown between Pandavar Ani comprising of Vishal, Nasser and others, and the Sarath Kumar camp along with Simbu and Radharavi, is what seems to be a difference of opinion between Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan.
Rajinikanth arrived at the CSI St. Ebbas School at RK Salai in Chennai to the cast his vote early in the morning, around 8am. The superstar usually prefers to arrive when not many are around. But he made an interesting statement to the media which pretty much set the agenda for the reportage rest of the day. He said that the whoever wins these elections, the new administration should name South Indian Film Artists Association as Tamil Nadu Film Artists Association. It should be the âTamil Nadu Nadigar Sangamâ he said.
Parochialism and divisions on the lines of caste have been a characterstic of these Nadigar Sangam elections. There have been allegations that Sarath Kumar is using the strength of his community to pull votes, and it has also been pointed out by the opponents of Vishal that his surname is âReddyâ, to hint at his Telugu lineage.
While Rajinikanth is raising âTamilâ interests, other actors like Prabhu, played it safe and said that âwhatever is good should happenâ. But there was one clear statement which stood as a strong opposition to Rajiniâs comments. Kamal, after casting his votes, voluntarily said that the South Indian Film Artists Association should become the âIndian Film Artistsâ association, and that it should be rebuit again with diversity and integrity.
Though not out in the open, there have been differences between Kamal and Rajini over these elections. While Kamal has taken an open stand supporting Pandavar Ani, Rajini has not put his weight behind anyone openly. However, top sources in the industry did confirm to us then that Rajini sent his son-in-law Dhanush as a conduit to Pandavar Ani for a compromise, and it was at the behest of Sarath Kumar. If peace had been brokered between them, it would have been an advantage for Sarathâs camp.
Going by the intrigue, it sure seems that Kamal an Rajini are not seeing eye to eye on the ongoing Nadigar Sangam tussle. But given the respect they have maintained for each other openly, letâs be assured that this will never blow up openly.