Will there be substance in Rajini-style politics?

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on December 05, 2020 Published on December 04, 2020

Rajinikanth   -  PTI

Actor Rajinikanth’s decision to enter politics got more prominent coverage in major newspapers than Cyclone Burevi. “That’s the power of Thalaivar. He will create a tsunami in the State,” says the actor’s hardcore fan P Varadarajan.

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Like MGR, as former actor turned politician and former chief minister MG Ramachandran was known, will Rajinikanth also shake up Tamil Nadu politics or will he be just another actor who entered politics?

Political commentators feel Rajinikanth will surely make a lot of difference to the State politics, which now has a ‘charisma’ vacuum in the absence of leaders like Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi.

When the actor announced his decision in a Tweet, the entire media went berserk. Tamil channels which were joking about Rajinikanth delaying his entry into politics suddenly have nothing else to report except Rajinikanth’s press conference.

Game changer?

S Gurumurthy, a political commentator, in his column said that Rajinikanth has potential to transform Tamil Nadu’s political landscape. He is not only a mega star but also a “clean and genuine” person willing to do good for the people of the State. When NT Rama Rao, telugu actor, entered politics, he had very little time to prepare, and won with a huge mandate. Rajinikanth’s preparations would be more than that of Rao, Gurumurthy told newspersons today.

Unaccompanied by last-minute surprises, it may create a lot of sound and fury between now and elections, said N Sathiya Moorthy, a political analyst and Head-Chennai Initiative, Observer Research Foundation.

Image building

For voters to see Rajinikanth as the right candidate to fill the Jayalalithaa-Karunanidhi vacuum, they need to first see him as a political leader, then as a serious leader with staying capacity and willingness to stay. Any “Central action” against the DMK and at times AIADMK too can be counter-productive at this hour, he said.

If Rajinikanth joins hands with AIADMK in the company of BJP, he will be going against his promise to fight against Dravidian political culture and corruption. If he and BJP go separately, it will help DMK, he said.


When asked about Rajinikanth’s announcement, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at a function in Sivaganga said, “let him first register the party, later I will give a comment.”

Interestingly, Deputy Chief Minister O Paneerselvam welcoming Rajinkanth’s entry in to politics said, anything can happen. If there is any chance, an alliance can be formed with his party. The 2021 Assembly elections in the State promises to be interesting with two newcomers - Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth - throwing in the hat in the fray. There could be a churn in the traditional vote banks of established players, including the AIADMK, DMK, Congress and the Communists.

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Published on December 04, 2020
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