Skeptics may want to dismiss it as movie release publicity, but Rajinikanth’s hint on Sunday night that he may enter politics has sent Tamil Nadu into a tizzy.
“I am not afraid of politics, but hesitant… I have been moving in the direction shown by God. If he desires that I should come to politics, I will serve the people,” the 63-year-old actor said at the launch of the audio and trailer of his new movie ‘Lingaa’.
On his part, Rajinikanth has been carefully neutral by not openly supporting any one party. While he did play host to Narendra Modi when he was campaigning for the general elections, he never publicly supported the BJP.
His words come at a time when graft charges have both Dravidian parties on the backfoot and the Congress is facing sharp reversals in their fortunes. All these factors could come together to help the BJP — which has been trying to rope in the superstar for over a year now — to gain.
However, according to a political analyst at the Madras University, the BJP still has two problems to over come — the Tamil language issue and the problem of Sri Lankan fishermen.
The BJP would then need a strong local leader to overcome these problems. “A Narendra Modi type local leader and Rajinikanth fits the bill perfectly for the BJP,” said a political science professor from Coimbatore.
But will Rajinikanth oblige?
“Let him make up his mind. If he wants to join politics and the BJP, we will wholeheartedly welcome him,” said a senior state leader.
State Congress president EVKS Elangovan on Monday had requested both him and star actor Kamal Hassan not to take the plunge and "get caught in the grip of political activities".
"My sincere request to superstar Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan is not to enter politics and not get caught in the grip of political activities", he said while speaking to mediapersons.