To an audience comprising fans and leaders of fan associations, actor Rajinikanth said on Monday that he would not be making the political announcement they were eagerly awaiting. However, he did not deny the possibility of entering politics. Addressing a gathering at Raghavendra Mandapam, a marriage hall he owns in Chennai, the superstar said he knew his fans could be disappointed if did not make the announcement.
“A section of my fans aspires to be in politics for monetary gain. If I enter politics, I will not keep them anywhere close to my circle. I ask them to give up such hopes,” he said.
Rajinikanth (66), who has dabbled in politics now and then since the 1990s, had declared that “nobody could save Tamil Nadu if Jayalalithaa is elected to power again” during the 1996 Assembly elections. He had been targeting the AIADMK government, which had ruled Tamil Nadu from 1991.
On Monday, he explained that it was due to his brief active political career in the 1990s that his name was dragged into politics whenever there was an election. Rajinikanth said he often got letters from fans asking about his political moves. “Some of them wish for positions such as councillors and ministers. It is not wrong for them to have such wishes but if it is to make money, that is sad,” he said.
“My life is in the hands of God,” he said, “God is using me as an actor…. I will be true to whatever role in life he makes me perform.” The actor also appealed to his fans to give up drinking and smoking, and advised them to take care of their families. Recalling his earlier problems with alcohol, he said he was speaking from experience.
In fact, it was a smoking scene in his 2002 movie Baba that prompted protests and attacks on theatres, with the PMK blaming Rajinikanth for misleading youths. It was believed to be an attack on his rumoured political ambitions as well. His next movie Chandramukhi (2005) avoided “bad habits” on celluloid.
Rajinikanth’s meeting with fans here was initially scheduled for April. It was postponed reportedly due to security reasons. The fans finally got a chance to meet him on Monday, after arrangements were made and identification cards issued to office-bearers of fan associations.
The actor made his appearance without make-up or wig. “He always presents himself as he is,” said Sanjeev Rajini, a fan from Tiruvannamalai. “He comes as Rajinikanth, we admire him.”