Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu along with Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth releases the 50th anniversary souvenir of Thuglak magazine in Chennai, on Tuesday.(PTI Photo)
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu along with Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth releases the 50th anniversary souvenir of Thuglak magazine in Chennai, on Tuesday.(PTI Photo)

‘Will speak on politics when the time comes’, says Rajinikanth; then drops a hint

Rajinikanth is expected to make a foray into politics ahead of State Assembly elections scheduled to be held next year.
Hindustan Times, Chennai | By MC Rajan
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2020 10:26 AM IST

Tamil film star and aspiring politician Rajinikanth took on the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the principal Opposition party in Tamil Nadu, by commenting on its patriarch M Karunanidhi and ‘Periyar’ EV Ramasamy, who is considered father of the Dravidian movement.

“Periyar was a pungent critic of Hindu gods. But no one had criticised Periyar then. It was only Cho (Ramaswamy) who took on Periyar, which was not to the liking of Karunanidhi. Cho invited the wrath of Karunanidhi who opposed him so much that he said the DMK patriarch had given him free publicity, making him popular across the country. Cho was a strong critic of the government then,” said Rajinikanth.

The actor was speaking at the 50th anniversary celebration of Thuglak, a Tamil language weekly news magazine started by policial commentator Cho Ramaswamy.

Rajinikanth said that this platform was not the appropriate place for him to talk about his politics and that he would open up “when the time comes”.

He also flayed DMK mouthpiece Murasoli. “Readers of Murasoli are DMK workers but those who read Thuglak are intellectuals,” he said at the event which was also attended by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

“Cho was a virulent critic of Indira Gandhi. When Emergency was promulgated, he brought out a dark cover to register his protest. She was another one who made Cho popular all over the country,” the actor further said.

While Cho was known for his sharp repartee and wit, Thuglak was considered a conservative right wing magazine with a saffron tilt. Now, RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy is its editor. He took over after Cho’s death in 2016.

In its heydays, Cho used to organise the anniversary of the magazine on the Marina beach. However, the venue was shifted indoors in the later years, indicating its shrinking readership.

On the other hand, Murasoli, under Karunanidhi had a far wider readership particularly for ‘Thambikku’ (to brother), the epistle that Karunanidhi used to pen for the cadre. It used to explain the current politics from a Dravidian perspective in his inimitable style.

Rajinikanth who also made a veiled attack on media falling prey to fake news, said journalists should emulate Cho. “Once people realise what is true and false, the fakes would vanish,” he said.

Rajinikanth is expected to make a foray into politics ahead of State Assembly elections scheduled to be held next year. He had first made his political ambitions clear on December 31, 2017, while interacting with fans. He said he would launch a political party that would practice spiritual politics and contest Tamil Nadu’s all 234 constituencies in 2021 Assembly elections.

Thuglak editor Gurumurthy said Rajinikanth has a huge responsibility and that the actor too was not oblivious to that.

Earlier, the vice president released the golden jubilee souvenir and Rajinikanth received the first copy.

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