Legendary Tamil actor Rajinikanth is known for blockbuster movies that deal with corruption and ethical lapses in Indian politics. They portray him as a larger-than-life character that becomes the savior of the masses.
However, until now, the general consensus was that the actor, already 67, would engage in politics only in his 'reel life'.
Watch Rajinikanth explain his decision to join politics
But his recent announcement has overturned this belief. Against all assumptions, Rajanikanth declared on Sunday that he was launching a political party, following the footsteps of many of his predecessors who became leaders and ministers in their second inning.
Rajinikanth, treated as a god by his fans, enters the political scene at a time when Tamil Nadu, known as the automobile hub of India, has been facing political uncertainty since the death of Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in December 2016. Jayalalithaa, too, was an actress before she entered politics.
Rajinikanth's upcoming movie Robot 2 trailer
Over the past five decades, the South Indian state has been under the rule of the two Dravidian parties, both of which have anti castism and secularism as their dominant ideological principles.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not even manage to win a seat in Tamil Nadu’s 2016 elections.
Veteran Tamil actor Rajinikanth has decided to enter politics
This is what Rajinikanth said about his decision,
“I’ll push for spiritual politics without caste or religious leanings. If I come to power and am not able to deliver in three years, I’ll resign. Democracy is in a state of distress in the state.”
Subramanian Swamy, a veteran BJP leader, dismissed Rajinikanth’s decision as “media hype”.