Game Changer: Thailavar Entry Into Tamil Nadu Politics

On December 3, Thielavia of Tamil cinema Rajinikanth announced on a press conference that he would be launching a political party, bringing an end to the years of speculation. Rajnikanth’s party will be arriving in January 2021 and contesting Tamil Nadu assembly elections of May 2021.

All these years Rajinikanth’s fans have been waiting to see his entry in politics. This long wait has now come to an end. However, he has been silent about his plans or even him standing as a candidate. 

Rajinikanth also introduced his political advisor Tamilaruvi Maniyan, who is a familiar face in state politics, as the leader who will supervise efforts to launch the party.

After announcing his decision on December 3, Thielavia decisively “Everything is fate. This election is going to change the fate of Tamil Nadu. If I win, that shall be a victory for the people, and if I fail, that too also belongs to them. I will change Everything, everything.”

Tussle to existing powers:

Rajinikanth’s entry will add another player into the Tamil Nadu politics giving a major tussle to existing monopoly of Dravidian DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam). His concept of spiritual politics will definitely get him the staunch Hindu vote bank which is presently with the AIADMK-BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) alliance. Supporters of DMK, left-leaning and minority parties are unhappy with Rajinikanth’s mutual friendship with the BJP and RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh).

Past years comments:

Talks about Rajinikanth entering politics started in 1996 when he first spoke against the former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa. He later claimed that it was his statements that defeated her in the polls that year. 

Earlier to this, he had a very challenging relationship with Chief Minister and AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran. His first statement of joining politics, however, came only in December 2017. 

Will Rajnikanth fight alone or form an alliance? 

It comes as a dilemma if Rajnikanth would contest alone or form an alliance. An alliance would be detrimental for his image concerning the first election. If an alliance were to taken place, AIADMK-BJP has already tied knots for upcoming election. Rajnikanth’s ardent vocal support for BJP and its stance against both DMK and AIADMK frames the question of alliance.

Furthermore, it is doubtful that Rajnikanth would get smaller parties into his alliance. So, a coalition with DMK  will be detrimental to both since the concept of spiritual politics is against the very basis of ideologies.

Understanding Rajnikanth’s idea of Politics:

Rajinikanth has told that the proposed party would strive towards spiritual politics, which would be honest and corruption-free. But the word spiritual, brought along a tag on him of being a right-wing leader in Tamil Nadu, where followers of the politics have always been taking positions against religious and caste systems. 

Rajinikanth’s closest ally would be Ra Arjunamurthy. Until a few days back, Mr Arjunamurthy was the state president of the BJP intellectual cell. Rajinikanth is also a fan of Cho Ramaswamy, an influential social critic, who is known for being sympathetic towards the Hindutva ideology. 

Those who are close to the superstar argue that he is not an RSS supporter. However, since Rajinikanth was brought up in a very religious environment, it can attribute to his spiritual orientation. 

Campaigning in present times:

Campaigning and addressing the public has been a significant concern, considering the present COVID-19 situation and the actor’s health. He had undergone a kidney transplant in 2016. Bio- bubble as a safety measure could be used for Rajnikanth’s public image. It is an imaginary bubble that will ensure safety and allows only a limited number of people from proximity, who would be a part of the campaigns throughout and will also be regularly tested for COVID-19. 

Mixed Reaction:

The actor’s entry into politics has brought in a mixed reaction from political parties. Some are sceptical while some are being diplomatic. AMMK state organizing secretary, R Henry Thomas has told that Rajinikanth’s entry into politics will not affect the public as he has neither completely disclosed his stand on any issue related to state affairs. 

A Rajini Makkal Manram ward secretary Selvaraj, who distributed sweets to the general public, said that the actor has come to fulfil the dreams of the State’s people. He said “We were eagerly expecting such an announcement for many years, and now our wait is over because the superstar has entered the politics.” 

DMK women wing secretary M K Kanimozhi said actor Rajinikanth could not split the DMK votes within the upcoming state assembly election. 

With the Assembly polls just around the corner, Rajini’s political entry will cause a massive change of political scenario in Tamil Nadu. It is only in January 2021 when the party’s ideologies, leaders and roadmap will be apparent to the public.

Krithika Ravi Iyer

I am an aspiring journalist who is very enthusiastic and assure to do my require job responsibly. I have a creative side to me as well and would do any task assigned to me with utmost sincerity. I like reading, listening to music and have started exploring art. Writing poems is something I do to pen down my thoughts as well.

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