Tamil cinema’s super star, Rajnikant, by announcing to form a new political party, has shaken all Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu out of their slumber. No doubt, the other aspects of party name, symbol, its ideology are yet to be made public. Given the circumstances, Tamil Nadu has been ruled by both the Dravidian parties for more than five decades. The progress of the state as of now is less said the better it is. Rather than concentrating on developmental works to be carried out, all elected representatives are busy in securing their seats for the rest of the period. Transport department is going to doldrums. Industrial development in the state is almost in the state of freezing. State as of now does not have any futuristic plans to move forward. People need a change, a definite change from that of corrupted parties. Hence, Rajni should remember that people of the state are no longer swayed by mass hysteria or filmi dialogues. The mass adulation ended with MGR and he was once in a life time phenomenon. Unless Rajni comes up with a strong political will to stay for a long time, he will not be taken seriously. Assent to the seat of political power by silver screen stars is not new to the Southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Thespian NTR, MGR and Jayalalithaa are shining testimony to this fact. However, their charisma has been propelled by their empathy with the common people. Whatever had been their faults and follies, they showed their worth by envisaging and implementing certain popular schemes that benefited the common man. But the halo Rajnikant wears engenders from his style and mannerisms. He has miles to go before he established his acceptability for the Tamils as their benefactor and saviour. He needs meticulous groundwork to bring in place his credentials. If Rajnikant wants to be successful in political career in Tamil Nadu, certainly he has to take clue from and organisational support of BJP and blessings of popular Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Already, the BJP is deeply involved in strengthening its organisation at grassroots level in Tamil Nadu. Senior BJP leader, Murlidharrao, who is incharge of Tamil Nadu, is undertaking a whirlwind tour of the state, as BJP has an upper edge in the state after the debacle of Karunanidhi and demise of Jayalalithaa. One thinks Rajnikant may not get success without having a handshake with BJP. Nevertheless, the chaotic political scenario now prevailing in the state provides for him a smart and enabling launching pad.
Just like NTR in Andhra, while he had entered politics, Rajni has the right political environment like corrupt polity of ruling dispensation, his own goodwill as a charity or philanthropic individual, spiritual nature and hence he can catch the imagination of people if he is able to select novices yet known to be non-corrupt/ honest from the right combination of social engineering and economic strata. He should be able to find right issues of the people and offer acceptable solutions (out of the box) in his campaign. He has a better chance than Kamal who had a false start by raising wrong issues and antagonize the people. Now, with somewhat different scenario in Tamil Nadu, Rajnikant has prepared himself to enter the politics. However, it may not be so easy for him. Even though I do adore him for his acting skills and mass popularity that he enjoys throughout India, I do have some reservations when it comes to his future in politics. One needs quite a bit of experience in any field and he has none there. Agreed that he might have seen the problems of the state very closely, but that political acumen comes only through the time one spends in a particular role. Looking at the masses from a popular actor and a leader are two different things, because he might have not faced the ire of his fans much but as a leader, he’ll have to see much more if anything, he says or does, goes against even a single community. Nevertheless, he is welcome and will be supported as long as he remains clear of corrupt politics. Otherwise, it’s curtains for him. For, the people of Tamil Nadu have seen enough jokers in politics so far and one more hardly matters to them. Hence, it is hoped he has a vision and delivers results what people of Tamil Nadu have been waiting for over so many years.
By Deepak Kumar Rath