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4-min read

With Talk of 'Ultimate War', Rajinikanth Drops the Strongest Hint Yet

“The current political situation is such that the system does not think about the people. It does nothing for them. That has to change,” the actor said on Friday morning.

News18.com

Updated:May 19, 2017, 10:47 AM IST
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Chennai: Actor Rajinikanth dropped yet another hint of a political plunge, perhaps the strongest till date, saying the “political system needs to be changed”.

“The current political situation is such that the system does not think about the people. It does nothing for them. That has to change,” the actor said on Friday morning.

I have responsibilities and work, same as you. Let’s do that... but when the ultimate war comes, we will all see," said the 66-year-old.

On the last day of his meet-and-greet with fans in Chennai’s Kodambakam, the birthplace of Tamil cinema, the superstar also called himself a proud Tamizhan.

“My fans have made me a Tamizhan. I was a Kannadiga for 23 years of my life, but for the past 44, I have been a Tamizhan. You, the fans, have made me a Tamizhan,” he said.

His statement comes days after BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said Rajinikanth would be a “disaster” in politics and called him an “outsider”.

ALSO READ | Rajinikanth Fuels Buzz on Political Plunge, Swamy 'Predicts' Disaster

Reacting to the apparent jibe at him by Rajini, Swamy on Friday told CNN-News18, “I never said that he is not a Tamizhan. I don’t think he was addressing me but rather the DMK, which has always made an issue of his Marathi origins.”

Rajini should stay out of politics. He has no idea or the qualification to be CM,” said Swamy.

He, however, added that it was up to the BJP National Executive to decide on Rajini’s entry into the party and that state leaders have no role in the decision.

Rajinikanth, fondly called Rajini by his fans, is the actor’s screen name. His real name is Shivaji Rao Gaekwad. He was born in a Marathi family in Karnataka. He started working as a conductor in the Bangalore Transport Service and later shifted to Madras (now Chennai) and joined the Madras Film Institute to pursue a diploma in acting.

On Monday, the actor had triggered rumours of a political plunge saying he would not allow "wrong people" to join him if he decided to enter politics.

ALSO READ | Rajinikanth Spoke Like PM Modi, Says RSS Ideologue

In an open interaction with his fans, Rajinikanth had said, “Right now God is using me as an actor, but I can’t say anything about the future. If God decides that I join politics, then I will do so.”

The following day, talking exclusively to CNN-News18, Rajini said that he would join politics only when the “time is right”.

Despite frequent speculation — the latest being when Gangai Amaran, the BJP candidate in the RK Nagar bypoll, visited him — the 66-year actor has avoided making any commitment on entering politics.

With stalwarts like the late Jayalalithaa and ailing nonagenarian DMK supremo M Karunanidhi out of the picture in the current dispensation, Rajinikanth's fans believe he is the only one who can effectively fill the political vacuum.

Rajinikanth's latest ambivalent statements on the possibility of his political entry has triggered a buzz in various circles, though this is not for the first time.

ALSO READ | Up to Rajinikanth Whether He Wants to Enter Politics: DMK

Such a hysteria was witnessed even in 1996 when he openly defied Jayalalithaa, asking people not to vote for her.

The then hustings saw 'Amma' losing the assembly elections and the DMK-TMC registering a landslide victory.

Having had his run-ins with the powers that be in the past, the actor has come a long way from his first outburst in 1996 when he said "even God can't save Tamil Nadu" if AIADMK was elected again.

In the ensuing political developments, he backed the DMK-TMC (Tamil Maanila Congress, led by the late G K Moopanar) combine, which also cashed in on the severe anti-incumbency against the ruling AIADMK.

However, the combine could not keep the momentum on as AIADMK staged a good comeback in the 1998 Parliamentary polls.

Many political parties, barring AIADMK, had been wooing him. However, he was on good terms with Jayalalithaa in the recent past and had even rued he had 'hurt' her back in 1996 by being critical of her.

In his latest comments, Rajinikanth had said he had no desire to joins politics, but if he did, he would show the door to all "money-minded" people.

He was often dragged into political debates despite stressing that he was "neither an influential political leader nor a social activist."

"My name has been dragged into politics for the past two decades. I am pushed to clarify during every election that I'm not affiliated to any political party," he had said early this week.

Tamil cinema has always had close links with politics, with matinee idols, the late MG Ramachandran (MGR) and J Jayalalithaa, besides script writer M Karunanidhi, having gone to rule the state.

Ramachandran, in particular, was seen as one converting his huge popularity into a springboard for his political launch, which was as successful as his cinema career.

(With inputs from PTI)

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| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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