Will he? Won’t he? For much of the past decade, Tamil Nadu and its residents have asked themselves and each other, if Rajinikanth will ever join politics. And a decade later, Rajinikanth is still undecided. He hints at the possibility, he asserts the many qualifications and attributes that make him perfect for the job.
And yet, he never really says it.
With Jayalalitha’s passing, the pressure has increased. With the TN political climate in turmoil, many believe that Rajinikanth is the natural choice to lead the State from the front.
His recent five-day meeting with his fans was supposed to be a sort of unofficial platform for him to announce his political intentions. True to form, the actor hinted at it, again and again. In his ten-minute speech, Rajini quoted the Buddha, mentioned the Himalayas twice and also made some rather interesting comparisons between gardening and his political career.
“Journalists have been chasing me all over Chennai. There’s no running away from them. Their bosses chase them, and they chase us. Well, I’d like to put a full stop to all the controversy surrounding my recent speech. Controversy and publicity are good, but there has also been a lot of opposition. Opposition is good too, because only then can we grow. In politics, opposition is the foundation upon which we can build change.”
Moreover, Rajinikanth addressed the elephant in the room. “I am 67 years old now. I was in Karnataka for 23 years only. For 44 years, I have been in Tamil Nadu with you. Even though I am a Marathi or a Kannadiga, you have fostered me in this homeland for so many years. You’ve given me power, prestige and money. You’ve made me a Tamizhan. Moreover, on many occasions, I have said that my ancestors hailed from Krishnagiri. If suddenly, you ask me to leave this place, I have no other option than to go to the Himalayas. I have no place else to go.”
“You are the Gods who gave me life. I want you all to have a life as good as mine. Earlier, I left it to others to look after you. There are a lot of good political minds here who can take care of you. But, the system is bad. Democracy has gone to the dogs. We need to change the system. We need to bring about change.”
“For a plant to grow, we dig a hole. We plant seeds, add fertiliser and we heap lots of mud on top. The more pressure you give to the mud, the more it grows. So, the controversy, the lies and the opposition are like the mud. The more you heap it on someone, the more they’ll grow. Some people here don’t know that they’re helping us by opposing.”
With an earnest plea to his fans to concentrate on their family, Rajinikanth ended his meeting.