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DMK mouthpiece regrets calling Rajinikanth BJP’s puppet; it’s a first

This is the first time the mouthpiece, which had been started by late party patriarch M Karunanidhi in 1942, has expressed regret for an article.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2018 23:37 IST
M Manikandan
M Manikandan
DMK mouthhpiece ‘Murasoli’ has expressed regret for its recent article criticising superstar Rajinikanth.(PTI File Photo)

DMK mouthpiece ‘Murasoli’ on Sunday regretted an article published this week that was critical of Tamil actor Rajinikanth and had called the superstar “a puppet” in the hands of the BJP.

“As we came to know that the article has hurt a few good hearts and fans of superstar actor Rajinikanth, our editorial team was advised to avoid such pieces. We regret publishing the article against Rajinikanth,” the statement read.

This is the first time that the newspaper, started by party patriarch M Karunanidhi as a handwritten pamphlet in 1942, has expressed regrets for an article.

Rajinikanth had announced his decision to take the political plunge on 31 December last year but hasn’t kept pace with the other superstar, Kamal Haasan who has gone ahead to launch his political front. Rajinikanth, who had set the balling rolling to ask people to join his yet-to-be formed political party, had recently sent out a clear message to his supporters that he intended to set the bar high.

He has axed more than 100 office-bearers of Rajini Makkal Mandram in recent weeks and underlined that his fans could not expect an upgrade into the political party just because they have been around for some time.

It was this messaging that the DMK mouthpiece had targeted. Apart from calling Rajinikanth a puppet in the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), it also painted him as a black sheep, out to destroy Dravidian ideals, along with communal forces.

Even as the actor has not responded to the article, the DMK made its mouthpiece express its regret over the piece -- for the first time in its history.

“When Karunanidhi started the party organ in 1942, he never used to compromise on his articles. Even though the Emergency period, he used to write political satires criticising then PM Indira Gandhi’s decisions,” political analyst and publisher Aazhi Senthilnathan told Hindustan Times.

When Karunanidhi was in good health, he used to read all the pages of Murasoli and then sent it to print, he said.

“Meanwhile, I don’t know whether (new party chief MK) Stalin had read the article about Rajini, before it was sent for printing. DMK should take it lightly. Since Rajini partially entered into politics, he should tolerate criticism. Since Karunanidhi started his career as a journalist, he wrote each and every article carefully. Even as he was criticising someone, he never changed his stand after receiving rejoinders,” Senthilnathan added.

He also pointed out that Murasoli has not written any regret statements despite facing several defamation suits from late CM J Jayalalithaa.

Hindustan Times tried to contact DMK spokespersons for a comment but they did not respond to calls and messages.

Amid this, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, in an interview to a Tamil news channel, welcomed Rajinikanth to join the DMK-Congress alliance ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

First Published: Oct 28, 2018 18:15 IST