In Tamil Nadu, the post-J Jayalalithaa era has been an unstable one with fewer dull moments. People going to jail, ‘groundbreaking’ statements made, and now, Kollywood’s actors venturing towards the political side to bring about a change in the State. And, they’re going all out on it – from dropping hints to big statements that have trended on social media for days, and a finally, finding a way to connect with fans – because, it’s all about getting those votes.
Rajinikanth, after months of speculation, announced his political entry on December 31 amidst fans and media persons at his Sri Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam. He will be starting his own political party, and will contest in all 234 constituencies in Tamil Nadu during the next assembly elections. Declaring that democracy is dead in the State and that a few political events that had happened in Tamil Nadu have shamed its citizens, the actor emphasised that if he didn’t enter the political arena now, it would make him feel very guilty.
And soon enough, news of him being pretty serious about his political journey made headlines. Reports stated that the actor and soon-to-be politician has several teams helping him with data and research in order to filter out candidates who could be a potential threat.
He has reportedly brought in teams to scout the state for specific data and solutions, along with a technology team that will set things in motion by adopting the data analytics approach.
He also launched RajiniMandram.org, a website and app where fans could register in a more legitimate way and join his political journey.
— Rajinikanth (@superstarrajini) January 1, 2018
Rajini’s symbol, in layman’s term. is the ‘rock sign’ or ‘sign of the horns’. However, a few enthusiasts dubbed a yogic connection, calling it one of the mudras (some say Karana mudra, others say Apana mudra).
His website pretty much has the symbol in focus.
While the website wasn’t functional a day after the announcement, a tweet from the website’s Twitter handle said that there were many trying to register, and it had slowed down the process.
With god’s grace we did our best to deploy a system to take the registrations from all our supporters.Huge rush making the registration difficult for many. Please bear with us as things will ease down after few hours. Please Pass it on to your friends and family.
— அகில இந்திய ரஜினிகாந்த் ரசிகர் மன்றம் (@officialairrm) January 1, 2018
On January 3, registering became easier. Apart from basic details such as name, age, sex, address, phone number, and parentage, the registration process also asks for your political views, your education level, profession, voter id details, and association with other Rajinikanth fan clubs.
After registration, an OTP is sent to your personal phone that provides you with the log-in details. Moreover, after logging in, you have the option of adding in people you know.
According to Google Play Store, as of January 3 at 16:00 hours, the app Rajini Mandram had been downloaded 50,000 times and has a rating of 4.5 stars. These are some of the comments about the app from users:
And according to The Hindustan Times, soon after its launch, the website had clocked in over three lakh registrations.
Vishal Krishna, just one month short of filing his now-rejected RK Nagar bypolls nomination papers, launched an app called ‘V Shall’, with social cause in mind. A press conference and a video had him speaking about the app, particularly focusing on ‘bridging the gap between people who want to help and people who seek help’.