Veteran actor Rajinikanth’s announcement of not entering politics on Tuesday met with mixed reactions from politicians and members of the film fraternity.
In his statement on Twitter, Rajinikanth cited his health conditions and said he will not be joining politics and contesting the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections in 2021, despite his earlier announcement of launching a party a few weeks back.
While many felt that the actor took the right call, a few also felt that the decision could have been made earlier.
Speaking to Silverscreen India, Ravichandran, the district secretary of Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM), South Chennai, said that it is only Rajinikanth’s health which matters. “His health is very important to us. We will always be supportive of him,” he said.
Talking about the future of Rajini Makkal Mandram, Ravichandran said, “We have been a fan club since 1988 and have done many good deeds. Even recently, we have desilted lakes, planted trees and donated food for many. That work will always continue.”
However, Ganesan, RMM district secretary of Thanjavur, expressed his disappointment. “Our hearts feel like it has been tightened,” he said and added that even though Rajinikanth was not feeling well, it was still painful for them.
“Everyone is feeling upset,” he said and added that the members of RMM had been working hard in the past few days. “All of it has gone to a waste,” he said. He felt that the actor’s decision could have come earlier as much of their work has gone in vain.
Actor-politician Kamal Haasan, who is the leader of political party Makkal Needhi Maiam, expressed his disappointment over Rajinikanth’s decision but added that he valued Rajinikanth’s health the most. “After I finish campaigning, I will go back to Chennai and visit him. I echo his fans’ state of mind. Even though I am a little disappointed, his health is more important to me,” he said.
Many from the film industry supported Rajinikanth in his decision and voiced their concerns over his health.
Thalaiva… Pls Don’t feel bad… May be we didn’t deserve a good political leader like you….. You are important to us Thalaiva… Take care & we will Love you as always Thalaiva 🙏❤️🤘 https://t.co/OJtBJQECiV
— karthik subbaraj (@karthiksubbaraj) December 29, 2020
Thr is absolutely no worry for any political Party in TN but better sense has prevailed onto RajnikanthJi on his entry Nw into politics this was definitely no time for him to make a start,So this theory falls flat,rightly so he backs out due to his health https://t.co/YVbXn4zGvB
— Nagma (@nagma_morarji) December 30, 2020
Actor Raghava Lawrence too endorsed Rajini’s decision.
— Raghava Lawrence (@offl_Lawrence) December 29, 2020
Actor Kasthuri Shankar wrote that Rajinikanth’s decision was something she expected and wrote, “If he had said this earlier, those who feel disappointed now could have avoided the pain.”
எத்தனையோ முறை நான் உட்பட பலரும் சொன்னதுதான். எப்பவோ சொல்லியிருந்தால் ஏராளமானவர்களுக்கு வலியை தவிர்த்திருக்கலாம். வருடங்களை மிச்சப்படுத்தியிருக்கலாம்.
இப்பவாச்சும் சொன்னாரே. இப்ப இல்லை, எப்பவுமே இல்லை ! #rajinipoliticalNOentry
— Kasturi Shankar (@KasthuriShankar) December 29, 2020
Producer Dhananjayan called it a right decision at the right time and wrote, “We need you more as a statesman & entertainer for Tamil Nadu than as a typical politician.”
Right decision at the right time. Thank you @rajinikanth sir. We need you more as a statesman & entertainer for Tamil Nadu than as a typical politician. Wishing you speedy recovery & happy years ahead 💐🎂👍👍💐 https://t.co/JFjTmhr14v
— Dr. Dhananjayan BOFTA (@Dhananjayang) December 29, 2020
Actor-director-producer Syed Zeeshan Qadri remained hopeful and wrote that perhaps Rajinikanth had more to offer as an artist than as a politician.
I know a lot of people for whom this is such a heartbreaking news. #Rajinikanth sir has always been an emotion to my Tamizh friends. I know you were looking forward towards his leadership, but perhaps he has still to offer more to us as an artist. https://t.co/hERy1v0mvu
— Syed Zeeshan Quadri (@S_ZeeQ) December 29, 2020
According to Karti Chidamabaram, if Rajinikanth had entered politics, it would have been a misadventure since he has no strong ideological mooring for him to be in politics.
@rajinikanth had no raison d’être to launch a political party & enter the electoral fray. There was no strong ideological mooring for him to be in politics. His proposed entry & non entry was much ado about nothing. It would have been a misadventure. I wish him good health.
— Karti P Chidambaram (@KartiPC) December 29, 2020
Congress spokesperson Americai Narayanan said that Rajinikanth has been honest with his decision and that spiritual politics understood by the people and Mahatma Gandhi will take place.
உள்ளதை உள்ளபடியே சொல்லியுள்ளார் @rajinikanth . நிச்சயமாக ஆன்மீக அரசியல் எடுபடும். அது இந்நாட்டு மக்களை, மண்ணை மகாத்மா காந்தி புரிந்துகொண்ட ஆன்மீக அரசியலாக இருக்க வேண்டும். அதை நான் என்னால் இயன்றவரை தொடர்ந்து செய்வேன். https://t.co/oqMwGdNLEx
— Americai V Narayanan ‘அமெரிக்கை’ வி நாராயணன் (@americai) December 29, 2020
Political analyst Sumanth C Raman questioned the delay in Rajinikanth’s decision and wrote, “4 weeks ago Covid existed. His post transplant status existed. Yet he said whatever happens to his health he will not quit. All it took was for one day’s fluctuation in BP for the man to back out??”
Feel sorry for all those in RMM who worked for last 3 years. For those who believed in their hero’s word. For his fans, public and countless others who were strung along for this long. To find out that someone you worshipped or admired has feet of clay is painful. #rajinikanth
— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) December 29, 2020
Earlier on Wednesday, founder of Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam, Tamilaruvi Maniyan, who was instated as the party’s supervisor by Rajinikanth, announced that he has quit politics. Sharing a press statement, he wrote, “There is nothing left for me to accomplish in this political world as it doesn’t know the difference between a gem and a pebble. It is only wise for me to stay away from politics completely as it hasn’t acknowledged my integrity, righteousness, and discipline.”
Rajinikanth on Tuesday stated that he was disappointed to announce that he will not be launching a party and joining politics. He said that he will help the people with their needs without joining politics.
His decision came days after he was admitted to the Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad, for fluctuating blood pressure. Rajinikanth, who tested negative for Covid-19, was hospitalised after the shooting for his upcoming Tamil film Annaatthe was halted for the second time this year when four crew members tested positive for the virus.
Rajinikanth explained that due to his recent kidney transplant surgery, his blood pressure cannot fluctuate and stated that it was probably God’s way of warning him to be careful.
The actor had announced in December 2017 that he will join politics and form a party. However, this October, Rajinikanth had hinted that he may not be contesting the elections as his doctor had advised against exertion and exercising caution during Covid-19.