Can Rajinikanth Capitalise On Tamil Nadu’s Political Vacuum?

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kommineni-srinivas-rao-on-rCHENNAI: Kommineni Srinivasa Rao, At long last Super Star Rajinikanth managed to break free of the shackles of spiritualism and announced the launch of his political party. Till now, he kept everyone guessing with various comments. On the last day of 2017, however, he announced the launch of his party. It is good to launch a party with Truth, Work and Growth as its credo. Time alone will tell whether he will succeed or not.

It must be said that Rajini has chosen the right time to enter politics given the chaos reigning supreme in Tamil Nadu. Post-Jayalalitha, the AIADMK is in a quandary. The DMK has lost face after losing deposit in the RK Nagar by-poll. As for the BJP, it polled less votes than NOTA. So, there is a space for Rajini. But, the party has to be built up. If the party was to be formed before the polls, a momentum could have been built and the riding the crest of a popular wave, one can reach the portals of power. But now, he needs to keep the party alive for three and a half years. He also needs to sweep the Lok Sabha elections. If he chooses to give a walkover in Lok Sabha elections, it could cause huge political loss. Another important question is will he severe his links with the BJP, with which he has close relation.

Many film personalities have entered politics. Some were successful and many others not so successful. While Karunanidhi, MGR and Jayalalitha scripted stupendous success stories in politics, it was not so with Shivaji Ganesan. Kamal Haasan too announced his political plunge, but now he has remained silent. In Karnataka, Kannada Kantheerava Rajkumar’s political foray too was not so successful.

NTR entered politics as he turned 60 and created history by coming to power. He too was helped by the political vacuum prevailing then. But, lack of political experience and strategy and Chandrababu Naidu’s conspiracies has done him in. He died in ignominy. Mega Star Chiranjeevi too vacillated for quite sometime and when he finally took the plunge, he lost heavily in the fight between the Congress and the TDP. He suffered because he has entered at a time when there was no political vacuum. His brother Pawan Kalyan had started Jana Sena four years ago. But, he preferred to assist the TDP and its boss Chandrababu. Even now, his pronouncements on building up the party organisation fails to inspire. He is losing credibility because he is seen as lenient if not supportive of Chandrababu. His proximity to the Telugu Desam, whose leaders tonsured him, is also hitting his image.

Actors Krishna, Kota Srinivasa Rao and Babu Mohan too forayed into politics. But, their actions were limited to joining a party. Even in North India, actors took the plunge. But, none dared to launch a party on their own. Amitabh came, became an MP and then quit politics. Vinod Khanna, Dharmendra, Hema Malini and others have been elected MPs and did not venture beyond that. In fact, films and politics are intertwined more in South India than in North India.

Entry of new players into politics is welcome. Let’s wish Rajinikanth, whose credo is Truth, Work and Growth, well in politics.