Raghava Lawrence, the choreographer and filmmaker best known for directing the Tamil film Muni, issued a statement on Tuesday asking fans of veteran actor Rajinikanth not to request him to speak to the actor about his political entry.
On December 29, 2020, Rajinikanth announced that he would not be foraying into politics, sending his fans into shock. On Sunday, his fans gathered at Valluvar Kottam area in Chennai and staged a protest requesting Rajinikanth to reconsider his decision. Rajinikanth’s fans also urged Lawrence, who is an ardent fan of Rajinikanth, to speak to him about his entry into politics and join them in their rally.
On Tuesday, Lawrence said in the statement that he had been getting voice notes and requests from people asking him to request Rajinikanth to change his decision. Stating that he was sharing the “same pain” as them, Lawrence wrote: “If Thalaivar [Rajinikanth] told any other reasons, we could’ve requested him, but Thalaivar‘s main reason is his health. If we request him and he changes his decision again, and if something happens to him, we all have to live with that guilt our entire life. Even without entering politics, he will always remain my guru. I know about his health condition as I speak to him closely. Now, all we need to do is pray for his good health and peace. He will always remain in my prayer’s forever.”
Echoing Lawrence’s thoughts, E Santhanam, North Chennai district secretary of Rajini Makkal Mandharam (Rajinikanth’s fan club which was expected to be his political launchpad), told Silverscreen India, “I do not wish to comment on people who are still asking Thalaivar to enter into politics. It is not right to pressure him after he cited health reasons. He is like a godfather to us and we will adhere to what he says. There is nothing more to discuss about his political career after he announced his decision. It will be wrong. We will continue to do the services we have been doing to society. It is our duty to obey what Thalaivar tells us to do.”
Along with Lawrence, many members from the film and political fraternity extended their support to Rajinikanth in stepping away from politics. Filmmaker Karthik Subbaraj, actor Nagma, producer Dhananjayan, Sivaganga MP Karti Chidambaram, and actor-politician Kamal Haasan supported Rajinikanth’s decision.
The actor’s decision came after he was hospitalised at the Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad on December 25, 2020 after “severe fluctuations” in his blood pressure. On December 3, Rajinikanth announced that he would launch his own political party in January 2021 and added that he would announce the launch date on December 31. He said that he would complete the remaining 40% shooting of his film Annaatthe and that his political work would not hinder the film’s shooting, as it was his “duty to complete it”.
However, while Rajinikanth subsequently left for Hyderabad on a chartered flight on December 13, 2020 to resume the film’s shooting, it came to a halt after four crew members tested positive for Covid-19 on December 23. Rajinikanth and other cast members tested negative.