While actor Kamal Haasan has invoked the wrath of multiple right wing groups with his comments on 'Hindu extremism', actor Rajinikanth seems to have earned their unquestionable loyalty. In a recent interview in Coimbatore, Arjun Sampath of the Hindu Makkal Katchi stated that his party supports Rajinikanth and believes he will put an end to Dravidian politics.
"Rajinikanth is very popular amongst the people. He is also a spiritual person and a nationalist, so we welcome his entry into politics. We believe he can put an end to this Dravidian politics," says Arjun Sampath. "Kamal Haasan however is against Hindus, an atheist and identifies himself as a communist. We cannot support him," he claimed.
Kamal Haasan recently stoked controversy by claiming in his column in a Tamil magazine that 'Hindu theerviravadham' (Hindu extremism) exists in the country. Multiple cases were slapped on him in various states for his remarks and he had to clarify that by 'theeviravadham' he meant extremism not terrorism as it had been reported. But protests continue to take place against the actor who has identified himself as an atheist.
Following his comments, Kamal had recently said in a press conference that he was not anti-Hindu and wouldn't say things to hurt their sentiments. But that has done little to soothe recent tensions with right wing groups.
Arjun Sampath however offers this olive branch.
"But Kamal has spoken against bribery and corruption. So, if we gives strength to Rajinikanth's political aspirations, we can lend support," he adds.
But what do they expect from the superstar?
"If Rajinikanth becomes the Chief Minister he will implement the river linking scheme. He will completely change the system," says the right wing group leader. His support has been extended despite Rajinikanth failing to make any clear statements on his political entry. In April, when he met his fan clubs, Rajinikanth had asked them to 'prepare for war'. Following this at the inauguration of the Sivaji memorial, he had taken some subtle digs at Kamal Haasan.
The latest buzz in Tamil Nadu is that Rajinikanth may make his political plans clear in December.
Even as the superstar keeps his plans under wraps, younger actor have hinted at joining politics.
When asked about actor Vijay's speculated political ambitions, Arjun Sampath played the communal card.
"Vijay says 'Tamizhan aala poran' (Tamilian will rule) and is trying to create a christian government like Sonia Gandhi," says the Hindu Makkal Katchi leader. "We will never welcome him to politics," he adds.