That all is not well between actor Vijay and his father SA Chandrasekhar has been obvious for the past few days. Vijay made his debut as a child actor in SA Chandrasekhar's directorial Vetri. He went on to star in several films made by his father, becoming a superstar along the way. However, the father-son duo seem to have had a fallout.
Last Thursday, SA Chandrasekhar submitted an application to the Election Commission to register a political party under Vijay's name, Thalapathy Vijay Makkal Iyakkam. However, right after the news broke, Vijay issued a letter denying that he had anything to do with the party. He further asked his fans not to get involved.
In an interview with News 18 Tamil, SA Chandrasekhar has opened up about the rift between the two of them. Asked why he made such a move, the director said, "My intention was to encourage the kind souls who have been doing good work in the Vijay Makkal Iyakkam for the past 25 years."
When the anchor asked him about Vijay's refusal to be involved, SA Chandrasekhar said that his son would realise why he had made such a move in the coming days. He also claimed that over 10 years ago, he had said that he would start a political party and that Vijay could distance himself from it if he wished. "This is what happened yesterday. He's used some unnecessary words but that's all it is," he said.
The director justified his actions to start a party in Vijay's name without the latter's consent, by pointing out that it was he who had started the Vijay Rasigar Mandram back in 1993.
"I didn't start it after asking him. I wanted my son to reach the greatest heights. I wanted my son to become a great actor and I started it out of my own wish. After a while, that organisation became a welfare one. Then I changed to an organisation for the people. I have been the founder of the organisation all these years. I didn't ask Vijay when I started the organisation or kept changing it with time. I've been doing all this for his own good," he said.
Calling the transformation of the organisation his 'duty', SA Chandrasekhar said that the question on whether Vijay himself wants to become a politician should be put to the actor and not him.
He also claimed that he doesn't see Vijay's notice about the political party as his own statement. "I don't see it as his notice. I see it as something he has just signed. I don't think it's a big deal," he said dismissively.
Bizarrely, SA Chandrasekhar said that he never discusses politics with Vijay at home but added that he's sure the actor will come around and so will his fans. He also said that just because the party had been started, it doesn't mean it will contest elections. "It's only a recognition that I have given," he said.
Throughout the interview, SA Chandrasekhar insisted that since Vijay Makkal Iyakkam was his organisation, it wasn't a problem to turn it into a political party without Vijay's involvement or consent. He also said that Vijay can continue acting and have nothing to do with politics.
Asked about the political ideology of the party, SA Chandrasekhar said, "It has been started only today. All the good work that a political party should do, our young people have been doing. They're doing it on par with political parties."
"I didn't start the party to contest elections. I turned it into a political party so that the young people do even more good work. That's my intention now," he added.
The name Padmanabhan features as the head of the party in the application. When asked who this was, SA Chandrasekhar said he was a member of the organisation and refused to divulge further details. SA Chandrasekhar is listed as the General Secretary and his wife Shoba Chandrasekhar is listed as the Treasurer. The director said that his wife's position was "temporary". Though he did not clarify what his political ideology is, SA Chandrasekhar declared that he was a Tamil who wanted good things for the Tamil people.
When asked if it was true that Vijay and he were not on speaking terms for years now, he said, "As father and son, we have no problems between us. We visit often, we speak. It's not like he waves his hand and goes upstairs as people say. We talk for half an hour, 45 minutes. I even teach him how to do yoga. As a father's son, he continues to do all this. Please understand."
"In a family, aren't there some problems that come up between father and children? In two months, do we not hug again? There is no family without problems and if it doesn't have problems, that is not a family," he said.
He added that father and children were of the same blood and not enemies. "Will I ever give up on my son? He's my only son," he said, claiming that there were many who were trying to put distance between the two of them.
"Vijay will realise it some day about these cunning people. I'm a very strict person. If someone does anything wrong, I will question it. I will immediately tell Vijay what they're doing. So they don't want me to be close to him, they tell him wrong things about me. They're trying to separate us but the bond between son and father is not an ordinary one. They will lose and lose badly at that," he said.
Watch: SA Chandrasekhar's interview on starting a political party in Vijay's name