Alive - - Editorial -

Tamil Nadu pol­i­tics is linked to films. Cel­lu­loid he­roes are taken for real, their fan-clubs are trans­formed into po­lit­i­cal par­ties. The DMK is founded by the noted script writer M. Karunanidhi, the cre­ator of he­roes. The AIADMK was formed when ac­tor-hero M G Ra­machan­dran broke away from DMK and formed his own party. The two par­ties won elec­tions and their heads be­came Chief Min­is­ters. Karunanidhi headed the Gov­ern­ment for long, de­feated by MGR who took the chair. When MGR died, his filmi hero­ine Jay­alalitha was elected the CM.

When Jay­alalitha died, the AIADMK be­came an or­phan. Shasikala tried to take charge, but she was en­tan­gled in cor­rup­tion cases col­lud­ing with Jay­alalitha and jailed. Fac­tion fights cor­rupted the rul­ing party; af­ter much drama of in­flu­enc­ing MLAs, the fac­tions com­pro­mised to keep power. Mean­while Sasikala’s nephew TTV Di­nakaran came to the scene to claim Jay­alalitha’s legacy. Some MLAs join. He con­tested a by elec­tion and won de­feat­ing the of­fi­cial AIADMK and DMK and posed a threat to the gov­ern­ment claim­ing to be the real party of Jay­alalitha.

In this murky po­lit­i­cal wa­ters of Tamil Nadu, an­other filmhero Ra­janikanth is now poised to take a jump. He has a big fan-fol­low­ing which he hopes to turn into a po­lit­i­cal party and pro­poses to win all 234 seats of the state to take over the Gov­ern­ment. He thinks com­plete fi­asco made by AIADMK and the im­age of cor­rup­tion stuck on the DMK, could make the Tamil elec­torate vote for him. His promis­ing true, spir­i­tual pol­i­tics could make him win, he hopes.

How­ever, Ra­janikanth qual­i­fy­ing his pol­i­tics as “spir­i­tu­al­ism” would be a de­vi­a­tion from the ra­tio­nal­ist her­itage be­queathed to the Tamils by the fa­ther of Dravida move­ment, E.V. Ra­maswami Naicker bet­ter known as Peri­yar (Great man). With such a tem­per­a­ment, Ta­mil­ians may not ac­cept Ra­janikanth’s spir­i­tu­al­ism that has a flavour of the RSS-BJP Hin­dutva.

Mean­while, the Modi-Shah duo will work hard but their ef­forts would not be of much use for the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions in Tamil Nadu. Ra­janikanth will jump into po­lit­i­cal fray only in the state Assem­bly elec­tions sched­uled for 2021. So he may not be of much use to BJP to ex­tend its rule for an­other term.

It is a fact that peo­ple are dis­il­lu­sioned with the present po­lit­i­cal par­ties in the state. Film Hero-wor­ship is on the vane and the younger gen­er­a­tion is not fans of he­roes. And the younger party lead­ers like DMK’s M.K. Stalin and AIADMK’s TTV Di­nakaran are not film ac­tors. Tamil pol­i­tics is in a flux and it is ex­pected to throw up a lead­er­ship of re­al­ity rather than im­ages.

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